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Some Gazania Species
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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Gazania Gaertn.

Gazania

Gazania Picture
One of the most widely grown ornamental garden plants, the Gazania flowers blossom in a riot of colors from solid yellow to red, orange, pink, white as also in wild combinations with stripes or rings of complementary colors.
Gazania is a genus of the native South African flowering plantsí family Asteraceae. Due to climatic conditions there, Gazanias are most commonly used as drought tolerant ground cover. Major countries where this Gazania genus occurs include South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola and Swaziland.
The exquisite Gazania species are frequently naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, and California for use as ornamental garden plants. Large at 4 inches with finely lobed deep green above light gray color leaves, Gazania grow in compact bunches up to 8 inches tall and 10 inches wide. Each bunch holds up a number of flowers held above the leaves on 4-10 inch long stems.

Cultivation

Gazania are easy to grow with minimal water requirements and soil-preferences. Even dry, rocky areas see full growth of brilliant Gazania flowers, which appear in late spring or early summer. Good soils do give the best growth but even poor, sandy soils give good results. Significantly, full sun is preferred and the flowers remain closed in overcast conditions. Perhaps this has to do with the peculiar characteristic of Gazania to behave like dandelions and tulips in that they close up in night!

Propagation

Gazania can be reproduced by either seeds or stem cuttings. The three best methods are:
Seeds - Collecting and planting seeds is an easy process, something any flower lover will know. Just shake the dried flowers onto a white paper, separate the seeds from the flower-head and you are ready to plant these! Remember to plant Gazania in early spring for a full bloom.
Soft Tip Cutting - Choose a part of the Gazania plant that is yet to produce a flower; cut it and plant it in an exquisite plant tray.
Clump Division - An extension of tip cutting method, in this you divide the Gazania plant from where they form a bunch (also called a clump). Usually this method is known to be more successful than the other two.

Varieties

The two widespread varieties of Gazania are Trailing Gazania and Clumping Gazania.
Trailing Gazania has a fast growth rate and is thus commonly used as ground cover for large areas and embankments. Cultivated Varieties include Sunrise Yellow, Sunglow and Sunburst.
Clumping Gazania is another popular variety of Gazania whose named cultivators include Goldrush, Copper King, Fiesta Red, Burgundy, Aztec and Moonglow.

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