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Treasure Flower

An Introduction
Treasure flower, also known as 'Gazania', is an annual flower that looks a little like a daisy flower. This flower comes in many colours like bright yellow, red or orange, and it has tiny eye spots at the foundation of the petals. These eye spots can be sen in many shades like brown, white, black, or a combinations of any of these colours. It grows well in hot as well as in dry areas and requires good soil for an ideal growth. Scientifically known as 'Gazania Rigen', this flower was first described by a German botanist named Joseph Gaertner in the year 1791 in the second volume of his famous work, De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum.

 

Characteristics of a Treasure Flower
The treasure flower grows to its maximum height of 15 inches with a spacing of 12 inches. It grows in a rosette form with attractive notched leaves. Unlike a traditional treasure flower, the blooms of a modern one is semi-double, and pom-pom shaped in the centre. It is highly tolerant to drought and so does not require much of water. The foliage required for its growth is herbaceous while the soil required for its propagation ranges between 6.1 to 6.5 if it mildly acidic, between 6.6 to 7.5 if it is neutral, and between 7.6 to 7.8 if it is mildly alkaline.

The treasure flower can easily attracts bees, butterflies or birds towards itself. Owing to the fact it

can be easily hybridized, it is popularly used as an ornamental. It stops blossoming on cloudy days as it requires full sun to blossom. Although, widely used as ornamental garden flower, treasure lower also finds some other important uses that includes beds and borders. It is also used in rock gardens, as well as in the form of ground cover in dry and sunny areas.
 

Growing & Caring for Treasure Flower
The seeds of the treasure flower should be sown just immediately after the last frost at a depth of at least 3 mm. The plants formed from these seeds should be spaced at a distance of 40 cm. Outdoor planting requires a sunny part of the garden, with a light sandy soil, where this flower can be grown comfortably.

To grow the plant indoor, sow the seeds at least 8 weeks in advance. Indoors, the treasure flower takes 1-3 weeks to germinate at a room temperature of 15-18° Centigrade. The seeds of this flower should be transplanted in the garden in spring, two weeks after any chance of frost.

 

Varieties of Treasure Flower
Treasure flower comes in many varieties, some of which are listed below:

  • Day Break: Originating in South Africa, it is a perennial plant that grows up to 8 inches in height and 10 inches in width. It has very big flowers, and a very early and long blooming season. It thrives under a good sunlight and needs occasional watering during the summer season. This flower closes at night and during cloudy days
  • Fiesta Red: The flower of this variety grows at a rate of 3-4 inches, with bright orange and rust coloured petals. Like a day break flower, it also thrives well under full sun
  • Sun Gold: This flower comes in yellow colour and 2-4 inch long, with 8-10 inches long stems. It is not used as a cut flower, because like day break and fiesta red, this flower also closes at night and during cloudy days
  • Sundance Mixed: This form of treasure flower has petals with contrasting stripes and come in different colours like like bronze, white and gold
  • Talent Mix: The foliage of this variety is silvery green with narrow leaves. It blooms at a height of 2 inches, in both single colour and double colours. The plant of the flower is compact and dwarf looking, and requires full sunlight to grow fruitfully
  • Sunshine Mix: It is extremely tolerant to hot weather and is seen in shades of brilliant red, salmon, yellow and brown, which when combined together, forms a perfect summer setting
  • Starburst Mix: It has a dependable mix of different colours and shades. It blooms at a rate of 3 inches on a compact, stocky plant that has silver-green foliage. Thriving under full sun, it can grow at a height of 10 inches
 
Distribution of Treasure Flower
The treasure flower was believed to have originated in the African continent, especially in the countries of Angola, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique. However, later on, the genus of this treasure flower was naturalized in New Zealand, USA, and Australia. Today, this flower is being widely cultivated as an ornamental garden plant throughout the world.


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