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12 Fascinating Facts About Gerbera Daisy (Transvaal daisy)

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With its wide array of bright, cheerful colors, it’s no wonder the Gerbera daisy is such a popular flower. As the fifth most used cut flower in the world, the Gerbera brings joy wherever it grows.

The Gerbera is also known as the Transvaal daisy, Barberton daisy, or African daisy. It originates from South Africa and was first discovered in the late 1800s. Since then, it has spread in popularity across the world for its beauty and versatility.

Read on to learn more about this eye-catching bloom!

1. Nearly Every Color Except Blue

Gerberas come in almost every color except true blue. You can find them in vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, white, pink, and purple. Bicolored varieties are also common. As long as you don’t choose a blue one, which will certainly be dyed, you can find a Gerbera in practically any color to match your taste or decor.

2. Long-Lasting as a Cut Flower

The Gerbera makes an excellent cut flower in arrangements. Properly cared for, cut Gerberas can last up to 14 days in a vase! Be sure to recut the stems and change the water regularly to help them last. The large, bold blooms add standout beauty to any bouquet.

3. Hundreds of Mini Flowers in One

What looks like a single Gerbera flower is actually composed of hundreds of tiny individual flowers clustered together to form one radiant bloom 5-8 inches wide. The center of the flower is called the capitulum and contains even smaller disk flowers that turn into seeds later on.

4. Rich History and Namesake

The Gerbera flower is named after German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber, who lived in the 1700s. The “a” was later added to the name by a French botanist. In the late 1800s, a Scotsman named Robert Jameson discovered the Gerbera growing wild while mining for gold in South Africa.

5. Sun Tracking Heads

Gerbera flower heads turn their faces to follow the sun across the sky during the day. This heliotropic feature maximizes their exposure to sunlight for growth and flowering. If you notice your potted Gerberas appearing twisted toward one direction, it means they are bending and turning to soak up as much sun as possible!

Gerbera Daisy Flower
Gerbera Daisy Flower

6. Release Oxygen at Night

Unlike most plants that take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the day, Gerberas do the opposite. Their unusual respiration rhythm emits oxygen at night rather than the day. This makes them ideal plants to purify bedroom air while you sleep!

7. Perennial in Warmer Climates

Gerberas are tender perennials only hardy to zones 8-11. However, gardeners in cooler zones still enjoy them by planting them outdoors as annuals. In the right climate, Gerberas can come back year after year when mulched for winter protection.

8. Hybrid Origin for Garden Varieties

Most garden Gerberas are hybrid crosses between two species: Gerbera jamesonii and Gerbera viridifolia. Breeders have worked over decades since the 1920s to develop the wide range of modern Gerbera varieties available today.

9. Attract Bees and Butterflies

Like many flowers in the expansive Asteraceae family, Gerberas attract pollinators to your garden. Their nectar and pollen-laden blooms will invite bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to visit your yard.

10. Used in Herbal Medicine

Various cultures have used Gerbera plants medicinally to treat infections, inflammation, and even kidney stones. Current research shows extracts from Gerberas have promising antimicrobial abilities. However, always consult your doctor before ingesting Gerbera parts.

11. Symbolize Innocence and Purity

With their bright, fresh colors and cheerful faces, Gerberas have become floral symbols of innocence and purity. They convey a message of joy and beauty through their lively blooms.

12. Give as Gifts for Any Occasion

Few flowers communicate happiness and positivity better than the Gerbera! Their uplifting energy makes Gerberas perfect to gift friends, family, co-workers, or yourself. They make an excellent birthday, get well, anniversary, or everyday “just because” presents.

With their winning charm and wide range of color, it’s easy to see why Gerbera daisies have become a gardening staple and florist favorite. Now that you know more about their unique history, features, and uses, you can appreciate their popularity! Try adding some of these captivating blooms to your yard or next flower arrangement.

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