80307There is some controversy about the identity of the flowers that Micky Mouse picks at the porch to present to Minnie Mouse when she answers the door. Some insist that they are Transvaal daisy, Gerbera hybrida. When they are not in black and white, the substantial daisy flowers are cartoon hues of yellow, orange, red, pink and white, sometimes with chocolatey brown or black centers.

Transvaal daisies are always available as cut flowers, but bloom best in cool spring and autumn weather in home gardens. Most garden varieties have single flowers on bare stems. Most cut flowers are semi-double. Double flowers that resemble zinnias, and spider flowers that resemble spider mums, are rare. Coarse basal foliage gets almost a foot high and a foot and a half wide.

Because the foliage is so vulnerable to snails, Transvaal daisy is usually grown in pots rather than in the ground or immobile planters. Besides, potted plants can be brought into the home or put in prominent spots while blooming, and then put out of sight between bloom. Transvaal daisy wants partial shade, regular watering and occasional feeding. It can take full sun exposure if not too hot.

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5 thoughts on “Transvaal Daisy

  1. These are also known as Barberton daisy’s and were the provincial symbol of the old province of Northern Transvaal. My late father-in -law swam for that province and his blazer badge was the Barberton daisy. My grandmother was born in Barberton too, during the gold rush there in 1892. Her father was a priest in the Anglican church and eventually became Dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral in Pretoria. There are many hybrids now – the original daisy only has a single circle of petals.

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    1. People are so fascinated with the flowers of their respective homelands. Anyone who has been to the Austria, Switzerland or a region in the Alps knows of the fondness for Edelweiss. Australians are very proud of their banksias and proteas. One of the Central American Countries (I can not remember which one.) uses the flower of the Yucca lacondonica as their floral emblem.

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