Felicia amelloides"Blue Marguerite"
Felicia amelloides is a shrubby, native perennial of South Africa, with long lasting, sky blue daisy-like flowers. Its sturdy ability to survive in many different soils, makes it a national favorite for gardens all over the world. There are 84 varieties of Felicia that span from Africa to Arabia.
The evergreen leaves and the reddish stems of Felicia feel like fine sandpaper because of the tiny stiff hairs coating them, a evolutionary adaptation that discourages predators. The blooms, like most composites, consist of ray flowers (in this case blue) on the outside and yellow disk flowers in the center. The disk florets have fine bristles that change to a plume-like pappus which carry the seeds through the air like tiny parachutes.
The Cape Province of South Africa is an area of 100 square miles at the tip of the continent, and a botanical wonderland. Three fourths of the plants are endemic, found nowhere else. The peninsula, isolated from other landmasses by two oceans, has Table Mountain, which rises 3500 feet above Cape Town, and a Mediterranean climate that promotes enormous diversity.
||Full sun and good drainage required.
||Year round in mild climates, May-July at SFBG
||A hardy, fast growing, long-flowering, long-lived, more or less frost and wind resistant plant with moderate water and little care required.
||The habitat of F. amelloides ranges in altitude from 0-1 000 m
This species comes from the coastal strip of both the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces, mainly from Humansdorp to Port Alfred.
The specific name amelloides means it looks like Amellus , a closely similar genus also found in the Western and Eastern Cape.
The blue felicia bush was introduced to Europe in the middle of the eighteenth century and hence was one of the first species used in horticulture.
IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Docents Joanne Taylor and Kathy McNeil
Profile Contributor: David Kruse-Pickler, Associate Curator