5

I live in Massachusetts, zone 6a. Last June, I saw these plants on a clearance table of mixed annuals, none of which had name tags. They were already in bloom. The colors of both the leaves and the flowers were different from my other annuals, so I bought a few. I planted them in sunny spots around the yard, where they've been blossoming happily, with very little care, in all types of weather, including temperatures as high as 100°F. Since they're among the very few things still flowering after the frost, I'd definitely like to get some more next year.

These are also a good choice because, except for a few nibbles, they're of very little interest to the chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels and other creatures with whom they share space.

The base is a few inches around, and has very narrow, pointy, gray/green leaves, spreading more wide than tall. The rust colored flowers are on 3" - 4" stems, and each bloom lasts a number of weeks. The flowers have little, if any, scent. An interesting feature is that they close up in the evening, and re-open when the sun comes up. On cloudy days they never fully open.

These are pictures I took November 15. This flower looks a bit rough, but it's been there for over a month, and we've had two frosts this week!

What is this plant?

Edit: In response to comments, I changed the images to some that I hope are less blurry! The flower finally died last night so I couldn't take new pictures. I'm hoping the close-ups of the base will give some insight, since the leaves change dramatically in color and texture as they grow, on both the back and front.

Edit: I added pictures of just the leaves, although the quality's rather poor. The full page views look a bit better. The gray fuzz that covers about 2/3 of the front peels off easily. I don't know if the ends were always dark green, or if they grew beyond the fuzzy stage. The entire length of the backs are smooth. Also, the leaves have very small prickles along the edges.

Click on pictures for full size.

enter image description here enter image description here

enter image description here enter image description here

front of leaves backs of leaves

  • Looking cöosely at the second picture: The "petals" have a "colour range" with some brown in the middle, more yellowish after that and the darker red towards the tip? (It is a bit blurry...) – Stephie Nov 17 '15 at 7:06
  • Sorry about the blurry pictures-will try to post something better! The backs of the leaves are silver with a green mid-vein. The fronts look silver at the base, gradually turning green, but some of the silver is hairy fibers sticking to the leaves. Peeling those away exposes green underneath. The petals do have a color range as you described. After your comment, I looked up gaillardia. I didn't find the exact plant but maybe it's a hybrid. You'd know better than me. The hairy leaves make sense, but not necessarily the shape. – Sue Nov 17 '15 at 18:20
  • 1
    "Arctotis hybrida" is my vote because it looks like this, and because it's become a common one in the nurseries lately. It is not blanket flower, "Gaillardia", as these have a very different disk, they don't close at night, and November is pretty late for them to still be flowering. The one problem is that you said they kept going at 100 degrees. Most "Arctotis" sort of go dormant when it gets really hot, but they are trying to breed this out of them... – Eric Deloak Nov 21 '15 at 17:57
3

Couple of other possibilities - Arctotis hybrida, or Ursinia chrysanthemoides geyeri - the second one has more 'ferny leaves', closer to the leaves in your picture. Its a pity there aren't more leaves to look at for good comparison purposes. Both these plants close in dull conditions and in the evening, in common with many of the South African daisy type plants, in contrast to Gaillardia flowers - some of those close, others don't so much. There is a range of varying colours in both Arctotis hybrida and Ursinia, but all within the yellow/orange/red area, no blues.

Arctotis: http://www.gardensonline.com.au/GardenShed/PlantFinder/Show_1080.aspx

Ursinia: http://www.colinpatersonjones.co.za/gallery3/index.php/040909CPJed_MG_4001

  • Wow, you have a good eye! Now I know it's definitely an arctotis, though I still can't tell which one! As I said to Eric, I can see why my pictures weren't sufficient! I appreciate the time you spent researching, now I'll know what to ask for next spring. Thanks! – Sue Nov 23 '15 at 20:11
  • Yeah, it's really hard to ID with so much work being done in breeding. Lots of crosses and selections. I think it must be very active currently as I see lots of new colors out being brought out recently. I like these because they really last into the fall. – Eric Deloak Nov 23 '15 at 20:29
2

While cleaning the garden bed, I found the broken tag from this plant! It must have been in the pot somewhere or under the dirt at the root base, and I hadn't noticed it.

It's a Gazania, also called Treasure Flower. It's in the very large Asteraceae family which includes asters, daisies, a variety of sunflowers and other flowering plants. As Bamboo and others mentioned, it's in the tribe of Arctotis and is a hybrid.

There are many varieties of Gazania. This one is a New Day Red Shades, F1 Hybrid.

Front of label Back of label

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.