Gerbera Print

 

Gerbera L. is a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was named in honour of the German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber († 1743) who travelled extensively in Russia and was a friend of Carolus Linnaeus.


It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa and tropical Asia.

The first scientific description of a Gerbera was made by J.D. Hooker in Curtis's Botanical Magazine in 1889 when he described Gerbera jamesonii, a South African species also known as Transvaal daisy or Barberton Daisy. Gerbera is also commonly known as the African Daisy.


Gerbera species bear a large capitulum with striking, two-lipped ray florets in yellow, orange, white, pink or red colours. The capitulum, which has the appearance of a single flower, is actually composed of hundreds of individual flowers. The morphology of the flowers varies depending on their position in the capitulum. The flower heads can be as small as 7 cm (Gerbera mini 'Harley') in diameter or up to 12 cm (Gerbera ‘Golden Serena’).
Gerbera is very popular and widely used as a decorative garden plant or as cut flowers. The domesticated cultivars are mostly a result of a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and another South African speciesGerbera viridifolia. The cross is known as Gerbera hybrida. Thousands of cultivars exist. They vary greatly in shape and size. Colours include white, yellow, orange, red, and pink. The centre of the flower is sometimes black. Often the same flower can have petals of several different colours.


Gerbera is also important commercially. It is the fifth most used cut flower in the world (after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip). It is also used as a model organism in studying flower formation. Gerbera contains naturally occurring coumarin derivatives. Gerbera is a tender annual plant. It is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds, but resistant to deer.

 

Buy Gerbera daisies seeds here

 

Grow Gerberas from seeds:


Begin the germination process by planting the gerbera seeds in the potting soil, maintaining a temperature of between 68 and 78 degrees. It is best to start this procedure in the springtime or early summer months. When situating the seeds into the potting soil, do so in shallow rows roughly two times as deep as the seed's diameter. In whatever planting device you plant the seeds in, be sure to have thumbnail-sized drainage holes for any water to drain out.


Cover the planted seeds minimally with some extra soil and gently water them. When this is done, gently put a clear plastic or sheet glass covering over the seeds and put the container in which you are growing them in underneath a source of fluorescent light that is no more than about 18 inches above it. You can also place the container in some natural, indirect light. The germination process takes about 30 days to complete.
Move the seedlings to small pots as soon as you see the first sign of young leaves. These can stay there until they are big enough for you to move them into your garden. This process usually takes from six months to a year.
Source: ehow.com

 

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