Growing plants using 150 ppm nitrogen produced longer lasting plants after harvest than those grown using 200-300 ppm.
Member of the Asteraceae or Compositae (aster or sunflower) family.
Native to South Africa.
Common relatives include sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum, aster and strawflower.
Flower heads are up to 3-5 inches wide, flat at end of scape, outer rows of ray flowers have colorful, strap-shaped petals, inner disk flowers tubular.
Scape (flower stem) leafless, can be hollow.
Plant is a herbaceous perennial, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
Flowers are not fragrant.
While most cultivars store best at 32-38 degrees F, some cultivars show chilling damage at these temperatures and therefore need to be stored at warmer temperatures (~40 degrees F).
Gerbera flowers will naturally turn their heads toward the sun.
Genus named after Traug Gerber, a German naturalist and the specific epithet (jamesonii) after Jameson, one of the discovers of the species.
Harvest/use flowers when outer rows of disk flowers are showing pollen.
Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort up to full sun. Some favorite cultivars and their respective flower colors include ‘Jaguar’ (yellow, rose, pink, salmon) and ‘Festival’ (yellow, salmon, rose, red, white). Fluoride in some water supplies can cause petal tip burn.
The Compositae or aster family is vast, with over 20,000 species, and is also one of the most developed families. It was named Compositae because the flowers are actually a “composite” of many individual flowers into one head. Hence, when children pull one “petal” off at a time, saying “she/he loves me, loves me not”, they are actually removing a complete flower, not just a petal.
Recent Research Findings:
As summarized by Brown (1988) of the work by Wolverton et al. (numerous years), this is one of many foliage and flowering plant species that can remove air pollutants such as formaldehyde and/or benzene often found in cigarette smoke from interior environments.
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