The History of Gerbera Daisies

With the general diameter of this flower ranging between 7 and 12 cm, it is a wonderful size bloom that can be added to just about any kind of flower arrangement.  Their wide range in colours are another reason why gerbera daisies are so popular.  If you look at designs advertised by online florists, you will notice how many of them include this particular flower in arrangements for all sorts of occasions!  After reading the short history of this flower, it will surprise you that such a “young” member of the floral world can be one of the most popular flowers to send!

Somewhere near Barbeton, South Africa, a Scotsman by the name of Robert Jameson came across this stunning flower.  Although it was discovered in 1884, it wasn’t until approximately 40 years later that this flower was cultivated.  The gerbera daisy was named after Traugott Gerber, a German botanist.

Other names for this flower include: African Daisy, Barberton Daisy and Transvaal Daisy.  It is easy to understand the names African Daisy (because it’s native to Africa) and Barberton Daisy (because it was first discovered near Barberton.)  However, the third name, Transvaal Daisy may require some explaining for those who are not familiar with South African history and geography.  Barberton is located to the East of Pretoria (the capital), close to Mozambique.  The Vaal River runs through that area and the area North of the Vaal is known as the Transvaal (across the Vaal).

J.D. Hooker was the first to scientifically identify the flower in 1889.  He refered to it as Gerbera Jamesonii.  Other species are found in South America and tropical Asia.  This plant is definately a fan of warm weather!  England began cultivating the plant some time around the 1890s and North America took another 30 years to join the trend.

In the United States, California and Florida produce the most amount of these flowers compared to the rest of the states.  In the rest of the world, the Netherlands and Columbia have taken the market by storm and produce the most amount of the cut flower variety.  Not only are these flowers popular as cut flowers, but garden varieties are also gaining in popularity.  You cannot deny they intense colour they they bring to your garden and they can survive in very hot conditions just as long as they have enough water.

Next time you visit your online or local florist, take a look around for some arrangements that include or consist solely of gerbera daisies.  They look great when paired with roses and freesia or simply on their own in a vase.  You can order a bunch in all one colour or select a few of your favourite colours and mix them together just like you would tulips or roses.

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