Perennial flowering herbaceous plant of the Compositae or Asteraceae family (Asteraceae). In open ground, it grows only in areas with a very warm climate, therefore it is used primarily as a greenhouse (for cutting) or indoor culture.
- Family: Compositae or Asteraceae (Asteraceae).
- Genus: perennial herbs .
- Homeland: for most species – South Africa, Madagascar.
- Rhizome: powerful, well developed.
- Stem: shortened, a tall, often slightly pubescent single peduncle rises from the basal rosette.
- Leaves: pinnately dissected, narrow, with pointed ends, up to 35 cm in length, collected in a basal rosette.
- Fruit: achene, 1 g contains 300-500 seeds.
- Reproductive ability: reproduces vegetatively, by dividing bushes, less often by seeds.
- Illumination: very photophilous, but in the summer it is better to shade from the midday sun.
- Watering: moderate, but regular.
- Content temperature: during flowering about 20 ° C, during dormancy – no higher than 14 ° C
- Flowering duration: annually from August to November, in greenhouses when the necessary conditions are created – continuous, from early spring to late autumn.
Gerbera is a herbaceous plant with a powerfully developed root system, a shortened stem and a rosette of basal light green leaves. High flower stalks rise from the rosette, strong, slightly pubescent, on which exclusively decorative inflorescences bloom – single large baskets with a yellow center, resembling chamomile in appearance, of a wide variety of sizes and colors.
Common types and varieties of gerberas in the photo
In nature, there are more than 80 species of gerbera growing in different parts of the world. South Africa is considered the birthplace of most of them, there are such species:
Gerber Wright (G. wrightii Harv) .
Green leaf (G. viridifolia) .
Gerber Jameson (G. jamesonii Bolus ex Hook.f.) .
G. ambigua Sch.Bip .
G. ferruginea DC .
Abyssinian gerbera (G. abyssinica Sch.Bip. ex Hochst) grows in Ethiopia, Velvich gerbera. (G. welwitschii S. Moore) – in Angola.
G. aberdarica R.E.Fr. – from Kenya.
G. anandria (L.) Sch.Bip and its varieties in Japan.
These and numerous other plant species are mostly not used in modern floriculture, and therefore are of interest only to a narrow circle of professionals.
The most popular and well-known species of gerbera is Gerbera jamesonii Bolus ex Hook.f., Jameson’s gerbera . It was with her discovery that the introduction of this wonderful flower into the culture began. At the end of the 19th century, the Scottish scientist Robert Jameson noticed and described one of the types of gerbera growing in the Transvaal, a region in South Africa, after which in some English-speaking countries the gerbera became known as the “transvaal daisy” (transvaal daisy). It was this species that became the ancestor of all modern varieties of gerberas. Through the efforts of breeders, by crossing the Jameson gerbera and the green-leaved gerbera (G. Viridifolia), more than a thousand varieties and varieties of hybrid gerberas of various colors and sizes, with simple and double inflorescences, have been created. Widely used, especially in indoor floriculture, are various garden forms and varieties of the Jameson gerbera .
Clones and varieties grown in industrial floriculture are conditionally divided into a number of technological groups that differ in size and type of inflorescences:
Small-flowered narrow-leaved (Rasa Diem) , with inflorescences 8-9 cm in diameter, peduncles 40-50 cm long. ‘).
Large-flowered narrow-leaved (American type) with inflorescences 10-13 cm in diameter, peduncles 60-70 cm high Common varieties: orange-yellow ‘Vega’ ‘Wega’, hot pink ‘Migar’ ‘Migar’, ‘ Algol ‘(‘Algol’) with dark cherry, ‘Jupiter’ ‘Jupiter’) with bright yellow flowers.
Large-flowered srednepetalny with inflorescences 11-13 cm in diameter, height of peduncles 65-70 cm Characteristic variety – `Mars` `Mars` with red flowers.
Large-flowered broad-leaved with inflorescences 10-15 cm in diameter and peduncles 40-70 cm high. , ‘Romeo’ (‘Romeo’), pink – Faith ‘(‘Wera’), orange-yellow – ‘Markal’ (‘Magsal’), orange – ‘Saturn’ (‘Saturn’).
Semi-double and double narrow-leaved with inflorescences 10-11 cm in diameter and peduncles 40-50 cm high. Varieties: pink ‘Viola’ ‘Viola’, yellow ‘Kalinka’ ‘Kalinka’, bright red, ‘Sonya’).
Semi-double and double broad-leaved , more powerful than the previous group, with inflorescences 11-14 cm in diameter, large peduncles up to 70 cm high. A characteristic variety is ‘Iscra’ with semi-double dark red flowers.
In indoor floriculture, compact forms of the Jameson gerbera have become widespread, with flower stalks no more than 25 cm high. Varieties such as Gerbera happipot , Gerbera hummingbird, Gerbera Ilios and Gerbera Parade are used as potted crops. One of the well-known varieties of indoor gerberas Durora mix (Durora mix) is characterized by large semi-double flowers, compact size, popular due to its unpretentiousness and greater durability compared to other similar varieties.
It is not possible to describe all existing varieties of gerberas within the framework of one article. We note only a few more popular varieties of different colors common in our country:
Yellow gerberas – Tamara, Elegance, Helios, Brigitte;
Orange – Alice, Orange Beauty, Zeltane; Sympathy, Mirage, Rudite, Rusinsh;
White gerberas – Marlene and Polaris;
Reds – Alde the Sheep, Veronica, Peter, Pluto, Romeo;
Pink gerberas – Rosalyn and Lancaster.
Peduncles with black cores, for example, varieties Vincent and Arendgost, are in particular demand.
What does the gerbera symbolize: the legend and meanings of the flower
According to legend, the young nymph Herba was very beautiful, she was admired not only by young men, but also by girls. The modest nymph was tired of everyone’s attention, and in order to get rid of it, she turned into an unassuming forest flower, as charming as the young beauty. This is how the gerbera arose, the meaning of the flower of which was modesty and innocence. Gerbera symbolizes purity, and it is appropriate to present a bouquet from it to people who are respected, appreciated and sincerely admired.
This is the legend about the origin of the name of the plant. In fact, unknown flowers that grew in southern Africa were discovered by Dutch travelers. The first description of the gerbera flower was made in 1717 by the Dutch botanist Jan Gronovius, who in 1737 named it after his friend, the German botanist and physician T. Gerber.
There is another version of the origin of the name of the plant – from the Latin word “herba”, grass.
Industrial breeding of gerberas
Gerbera flowers are so attractive that cut flowers are now an industry. Despite the fact that the plant is very thermophilic, and in most countries it can develop only in greenhouses, in terms of the number of flowers sold annually, gerbera occupies one of the first places in the world. Such popularity is due to a number of qualities that make the plant suitable for commercial cutting. It is exceptionally beautiful, and at the same time quite productive, one plant per season can produce up to 15 flowers for cutting in the first year, and 20-30 flowers in the second. In a greenhouse, where the necessary conditions are created, the gerbera can bloom continuously from early spring to late autumn, with a dormant period of only 2 months. A cut flower, after a little preliminary preparation, can go without water for a long time, which facilitates its transportation, and after the sale, with proper care, it remains fresh and attractive for up to three weeks.