Berkheya speciosa

Water Needs

moderate

Berkheya speciosa
Perennial
Skraaldisseldoring

30 cm

Size

Light Conditions

sun

Frost

light; moderate; hardy

Flowers

yellow September to February; spring summer

grassland; sun; rockery; roof garden; butterflies bees insects birds; narrow spaces;

Garden Situation

Habitat

grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn

Region

thicket; Subtropical East Coast; highveld

Rain Season

summer

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Description

Part of the daisy family, it is a perennial herb growing naturally in stony or moist grasslands, in the Free State, KZN, and Eastern Cape, seen often after fires have passed through. It was named for the Dutch botanist, Jan le Francq Van. This delightful grassland forb, Skraaldisseldoring, is often found in large groups in the wild, so if your garden is large enough, recreate this in your grassland for a natural look. Considered a perennial herb, the leaves create a wonderful show on their own even without the summer flowers. Large (30 x 25cm) and bright green, the edges are wavy and spiny, but the undersides have a felt like layer of fine soft white hairs. The leaves grow close to the ground, with smaller leaves up the flowering stem. The flowering stalks in summer can reach up to 1m high with quite large bright yellow daisy-like flowers appearing at the top. The stalks can fork into more stems with more flowers, and often there can be as many as 15 flowers on one plant and appear to be far too top heavy for the thin, long stem. Some will be inclined to fall over and may need to be staked in the garden. Each flower only lasts a few days. The flowers appear from August/September through to February. In the garden: it can be mixed with other grassland species: Agapanthus, grasses, Hypoxia, although they don’t need the same moisture levels as B. speciosa. Try it with Tulbaghia natalensis which also enjoys rocky, moist grassland situations, or the rarer moist grassland Arum, Zantedeschia albomaculata. En-masse, mixed with moist grass species, it would be a focal point in your grassland. The plant requires moisture through spring and summer and prefers a dry winter.

Berkheya speciosa
Berkheya speciosa