An Overview of a Delightful Flower
Since its discovery in a South African gold mining field slightly over a century ago, the Gerbera Jamesonii has contributed enormously to both gardens and floral arrangements. Sometimes called “the African Daisy” or “the Barberton Daisy” (in honour of the gold field outside Barberton, South Africa)” this vividly coloured perennial remains a popular gift item in floral bouquets. It represents just one attractive type of Gerbera.
Today Gerberas come in many lovely forms. They rank fifth in popularity as a cut flower. You’ll find them in a pleasing variety of sizes and colours, including white, yellow, orange, red, light purple and even multi-coloured. The bright petals of this plant may appear slender and spiky, or rounder in shape; in some flowers, the blossom itself measures 7″ in diameter!
Gerberas take their name from a man who did not discover them. However, he did contribute significantly to the world of flowers and botany. Dr. Traugott Gerber lived between 1710 and 1743, and for several years he helped manage a botanical garden in Russia.
Today most of the 300 forms of Gerberas available on the flower market descend from just two cultivars: the Gerbera Jamesonii or the Gerbera vindfolia. People love to see these beautiful distant relatives of the Daisy, Sunflower and Aster families in floral arrangements and gift baskets. Their warm colours lend cheer to hospital rooms and add sparkle to many elegant dining table settings and wedding decors. As cut flowers, well watered Gerberas will last for seven to ten days, or longer.
The Symbolism of Gerberas
Traditionally, white daisies have symbolised purity and innocence. Many people apply these same sentiments to Gerberas, with the addition of cheerfulness. These lovely, vividly colored flowers contain the power to lift spirits simply by looking at them.
For this reason, bouquets of Gerberas fit many situations in life. They make excellent additions to floral arrangements for engagements and weddings, for instance. New parents appreciate gift baskets including these happy flowers. And if someone seeks a great Father’s Day bouquet, Gerberas (or frequently, Gerberas and Roses) can convey gratitude and happiness to Dad or Granddad.