Gerbera or Transvaal daisy (
Gerbera jamesonii) is native to Transvaal, South Africa and is a member of the sunflower (Asteraceae) family that includes chrysanthemums, marigolds, and zinnias. Gerberas are popular plants for the garden, and their daisy-like blooms make long-lasting cut flowers. They tolerate temperatures down to 30F although they will be damaged by frost. In central and south Florida, Gerbera daisies perform as perennials, but they should be treated as an annual wherever prolonged freezes are likely. Each flower is held about 6 inches above the foliage on a long, leafless stem. The leaves are long, slender and hairy (pubescent). Plants form dense, 12-inch-tall clumps of numerous leaves. Six new varieties have been released recently by the UF/IFAS gerbera breeding program at the Gulf Coast REC in Wimauma, Florida.