BARBERTON DAISY (GERBERA JAMESONII)
The most famous plant from this region is the world renowned Barberton Daisy, GERBERA jamesonii. It was named in honour of a Scotsman, the Hon. Robert Jameson, who lived in Durban and trekked to Barberton to investigate a rich strike near Moodies in the new gold fields. This lovely daisy is the parent plant of the many colour variants and double daisies that flourish in gardens all over the world. The colours vary from white, cream or lemon, to yellow, rose pink, salmon, orange and the original bright scarlet. This plant is very popular in the Netherlands, where much of the modern breeding research was done. The Dutch have also specialized in a miniature form that can be grown in small pots, especially for flat dwellers.
Protea Comptonii. Barberton sugerbush. Protea comptonii flowering in winter in the Barberton mountains, Mpumalanga, South Africa. There are two disjunct areas where the species is found; one in the Kaapse Hoop and Barberton areas of Mpumalanga, just extending into Swaziland, and the other in KwaZulu-Natal with subpopulations in Vryheid, Louwsburg, the Itala Game Reserve and in Ngotshe District. It is highly localised on steep south-facing slopes on quartzite outcrops in grassy savanna. It does, however, appear to be abundant or in pure stands in places.
Protea Curvata. Occurs on the Drakensberg Escarpment near Barberton. Both populations are confined to dry summit ridges of schist hills in mixed savanna on serpentine soils.
Protea Gaguedi. No other Protea is so widely distributed. It ranges from Kwa Zulu in South Africa, throughout central Africa to Eritrea in north-eastern Ethiopia. In South Africa its distribution range extends in a narrow tongue from the Soutpansberg in the Northern Province southwards along the Mpumalanga escarpment to Barberton, Swaziland and Utrecht in northern Kwa Zulu. The rockiest sites with thin soil levels are favoured by this Protea in South Africa, where It seldom exceeds 3 metres, while in deeper soils; heights of up to 8 metres are occasionally reached. Like most other savannah Protea’s, this Protea is fire resistant. Thick, flaky, corky bark protects fully mature specimens.
Protea Roupelliae subsp Hamiltonii. This sub-species differs from subsp. roupelliae in being a dwarf, sprawling, prostrate shrublet and the inflorescence has yellow involucral bracts.
Protea Roupelliae subsp Roupelliae.
Critically endangered. Now under sever threat and efforts are being made to save it.