Renoster arctotis, Renostergousblom - Arctotis acaulis

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Arctotis acaulis 'Red' Picture courtesy acaulis 'Red' Picture courtesy

Arctotis is an African genus of about 62 species, occurring from the southernmost tip of South Africa to Angola; with most species in the Western and Eastern Cape and Namaqualand.  Arctotis acaulis is an easy to grow perennial plant that can be found growing in clay, limestone and granite soil in the renosterveld, fynbos, succulent karoo, and nama karoo biomes, from Calvinia in the western Karoo and Bokkeveld Plateau to the Peninsula, and westward to Swellendam and the Langeberg Mountains.

It is a fast growing, spreading plant that is excellent to control soil erosion at the coast. The hairy leaves are a beautiful silver-grey and the plants produce a dazzling display of flowers from late winter and spring to early summer (July to November), but can bloom for most of the year in mild climates. Many hybrids are available and the brightly coloured daisy flowers come in all shades of orange, yellow and red as well as plum, pink and cream. This plant makes a most effective ground cover and looks wonderful spilling over walls or a dry bank.

Arctotis acaulis 'Pink' Picture courtesy Green Acres Nursery CaliforniaArctotis acaulis 'Pink' Picture courtesy Green Acres Nursery CaliforniaThe renoster arctotis is an excellent evergreen and although it is a perennial plant, it is often grown as an annual in South Africa; especially in cold regions. It is semi-hardy to moderate frost and drought but enjoys being watered moderately during the growing season. Plant it in light, well-drained soil and full sun. The renoster arctotis will grow about 20 to 30cm tall and can spread as wide. Mulch with compost, water regularly and feed with organic 2:3:2 for best results. Regular deadheading will dramatically extend the blooming period. In the winter rainfall regions seed is sown is autumn and the seedlings are planted out just before the rainy season starts and in frosty gardens seed is sown in spring.

Sow into trays, or directly into garden beds. Cover the seeds lightly, keep them moist and they should start to germinate within a week.

(Arctotis arctotoides) Botterblom has light green leaves and butter-yellow flowers almost all year round and is widespread throughout the summer rainfall areas of South Africa. It will grow in most soil types, from sand to clay, and will grow in well-drained and marshy areas. It flowers in winter (June to August), at the same time as many aloes. This fast growing and wide spreading variety can spread up to 60cm wide.

Arctotis acaulis 'Flamingo' Picture courtesy Green Acres Nursery CaliforniaArctotis acaulis 'Flamingo' Picture courtesy Green Acres Nursery California(Arctotis stoechadifolia) Silver Arctotis, Kusgousblom only occurs naturally along a small strip from the Cape Peninsula to the West Coast. This is a sprawling perennial that forms a striking silver-grey carpet and can spread up to 1.2m wide. The masses of showy flowers stand on upright shoots about 35cm high. They are a creamy, light yellow, marked with maroon underneath, and the centre of the flower is black. It flowers from spring to summer (September-December).

(Arctotis fastuosa) Namaqualand arctotis is a frost hardy annual species from the dry Namaqualand region where the seeds lie dormant in summer and opportunistically respond to good rains at any time of the year, but especially in winter. The size of the plant will depend on rainfall but if it is watered moderately in the garden it can grow up to 60cm tall. The green leaves are covered in white hairs and the flowers are born on long stalks, appearing in winter and spring (July to October). They come in various shades of orange, yellow and cream.

Additional Info

  • Common Name: Renoster Arctotis, Renostergousblom
  • Latin Name: Arctotis acaulis