I discovered Gazania 'Sunbathers Otomi' at Terra Sol Garden Center in Santa Barbara a couple of weeks ago. I was immediately smitten and brought home 3 plants.
|'Sunbathers Otomi' in bloom at Terra Sol|
A few Angelonia augustifolia, over-wintered from last year but no longer looking their best, were uprooted to make space for the new plants. The flower color picks up the pink of the Cuphea ignea 'Starfire Pink' and the bronze of Phormium 'Dark Delight' behind them.
|The new plants in place in the front of the backyard border|
The new flowers look more red than pink to me when they first open but, as the photo at the top of this post shows, the petal color fades as the flower ages.
|The same flower opening in stages over 3 days|
|Flowers on the same plant at different stages of bloom|
The semi-double flowers have a crested center that becomes more bronze as the flower matures. They're approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter when fully open. The plants have the attractive, strappy gray-green foliage of my other Gazanias. They reportedly grow about 8 inches (20 cm) tall and wide. Many growers classify them as half-hardy annuals but they should be short-lived perennials in my climate. In addition to taking heat in stride, they're said to tolerate light frosts.
For other gardeners' favorite plants, check out Loree's monthly favorites wrap-up at danger garden next Friday.
*Update: Today was mostly cloudy and I noticed that, although the Gazania 'Sunbathers Otomi' flowers don't entirely close, the outer petals do curl around the flower's crested center.
All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party