15 - 40 cm
Yellow; spring; summer
sun; semi-shade; walls; dry shade; roof gardens; green walls; rockery; container; paving; wildlife bees insects; narrow spaces;
rocky places; cliffs; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn
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Golden yellow daisy flowers and delicate bright green leaves make this perennial shrublet a delight in the spring and autumn garden. It is a fast growing evergreen plant that forms soft mounds in the front of a flower bed. The species name, ‘saxifraga’, indicates a preference for rocky habitats, and this little plant grows naturally on cliffs, rock outcrops, and forest edges. This shows its versatility; as long as the soils are well-draining and humus-rich, the Wild Cineraria grows well in semi- shade and full sun. Stems will be longer and form a less compact shrublet in shade than sun. Plants grow to between 20 – 30 cm high with a 40 cm spread and require little pruning, but give a light trim when necessary. Water well for a few weeks when establishing the plants; after that, they should cope with seasonal rains. Cineraria comes from the Eastern Cape region so while it does best in frost free gardens, will take a light frost, and is grown around the country from coast to the cooler inland regions. Its preferred habitats make it an excellent addition to a rockery, or to drape down a wall, as well as in the mixed border. Plant the Cineraria to attract a range of insects to the garden; Geoff Nichols uses it as a companion plant in the vegetable garden to control pests. The Wild Cineraria is an excellent choice for balcony and container gardeners as it flowers prolifically in containers and hanging baskets. Companion plants: the bright green leaves and yellow flowers work well with the dove greys of the extensive Helichrysum family or grey-leaved trailing Gazanias. Combine with purple spring and summer flowering Dimorphotheca or the summer and autumn flowering Selago species, for a classic, stunning colour arrangement.