Wild Daisy Bush, Harpuisbos - Euryops

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 Euryops Sunshine Classic. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaEuryops Sunshine Classic. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.za Condensed Version:

Euryops species are widespread in southern Africa, with 30 occurring in fynbos.  Euryops produces starry sunshine yellow blooms throughout the seasons, depending on the variety grown; adding a bight splash of yellow to your garden. Their hardiness, ease of growth, and long flowering season has made them popular garden plants around the world.

Euryops are excellent pioneer species and one of the first plants to re-establish themselves after a fire. In the winter rainfall regions they make great water-wise plants and are lovely planted in fynbos gardens. Euryops look good planted in groups of three and are great filler plants for cottage gardens and perennial or mixed shrub borders. They also grow easily in pots. The seeds will also attract many seed eating birds to your garden, and the flowers are attractive to butterflies and many other insect pollinators, who will in turn, attract insect eating birds.

Euryops are evergreen and grow quickly and easily both inland and at the coast, as long as they can be planted in full sun. These plants will not tolerate soggy feet, so prepare your soil well. Euryops can vary greatly in size, depending on the soil and the climate in which they are grown. They are hardy to frost (about -1 C) and some will even tolerate severe frost. Water moderately during dry spells, and in the summer rainfall regions they will require regular watering in winter and spring. Prune the bush back lightly after it has finished flowering, and cut it fairly hard every couple of years; after about 5 years the plants will become straggly and will need replacing.

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Description, History & Interesting Facts:

Euryops is part of the Asteraceae family and there are about 97 species which occur throughout southern and tropical Africa, and in Saudi Arabia; 87 of the species are widespread in southern Africa, with 30 occurring in fynbos.  Euryops produces starry sunshine yellow blooms throughout the seasons, depending on the variety grown; adding a bight splash of yellow to your garden. Their hardiness, ease of growth, and long flowering season has made them popular garden plants around the world. Euryops produce large quantities of seed which are carried away by ants to their nests; the ants are actually dispersing and keeping the seeds while storing them safely underground, away from fires.
 
Euryops 'Sunshine' Fine Leaf. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaEuryops 'Sunshine' Fine Leaf. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaThe Golden Daisy, Wolharpuisbos (Euryops pectinatus)

In the wild the golden daisy can be found growing on the rocky sandstone slopes of the south-western Cape. It is endemic to this region, meaning that it occurs naturally nowhere else in the world. It has silvery-grey leaves and bright yellow daisy flowers almost all year round, but is especially prolific in spring. It grows +-1 to 1.5m tall and +-1m wide and is hardy to frost.
 
Giant Resinbush, Grootharpuisbos (Euryops speciosissimus)

This euryops is also called the Clanwilliam euryops, and can be found growing in dry fynbos on rocky sandstone slopes and in valleys, in the Vanrhynsdorp, Clanwilliam, Piketberg and Tulbagh districts. It can be found at altitudes ranging from 150 to 850m. The Latin word 'speciosissimus' means very spectacular, or the showiest of all; and when this euryops is in full bloom, you can understand why it was given this name. Its large, deeply cupped yellow flowers are born on stout stems; and are perfectly foiled by the finely divided, soft green leaves. It produces flowers mainly from early spring to about November, but can start flowering in mid-winter to November. It varies in height from 45cm to 2.5m tall.

Lace-leaf euryops, Bergharpuisbos (Euryops abrotanifolius)

In the wild the lace-leaf euryops can be found growing from sea level up to about 1 800m, occurring mainly on the rocky sandstone slopes of the southern Cape; and it is common in the Cape Peninsula. It varies in height from +-50cm to +-1.5m tall. Its main flowering time is during winter and spring, but the large bright yellow daisy flowers can also appear in summer. The needle-like leaves are grey-green.

Euryops pectinatus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaEuryops pectinatus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaHoney Euryops, Rivierharpuisbos (Euryops virgineus)

This euryops is endemic to southern Africa, occurring naturally only in the southern coastal areas of the Western Cape and nowhere else in the world. It can be found from Bredasdorp in the west to Alexandria in the Eastern Cape, often at low altitudes, and extends inland into the Swartberg Mountains to about 1 200m. It is commonly found in fynbos, on mountain sides, sandy slopes, along roadsides, and occasionally on limestone. It also grows in karroid scrub and grasslands. The honey euryops usually grows +-1.5m tall, but can reach 3m or more. It is hardy to even severe frost and has dark green, needle-like leaves and bright yellow honey-scented flowers mainly in winter and spring. The flowers are pollinated largely by honey bees.

Resin Bush, Kortbeenharbuisbossie (Euryops tenuissimus)

This euryops is widespread in the Namaqualand, Vanrhynsdorp, Calvinia, Clanwilliam, Ceres, Worcester, Robertson, Montagu, Swellendam, Riversdale, Laingsburg and Ladismith Districts, where it is commonly found growing on dry, stony slopes in arid fynbos and renosterveld. Plants are often dominant in the vegetation and grow on a variety of soils. In spring, large areas of the Western and Northern Cape are ablaze with the bright yellow flowers of this euryops. Flowering has been recorded from July to December but is most spectacular in August to October. It varies in height from 90cm to 2m and is well branched. Mature foliage is thin and needle-like.

Euryops virgineus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaEuryops virgineus. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaEuryops 'Sunshine Classic'

This garden hybrid has sunny, bright yellow daisy flowers in winter, spring and summer. It is a vigorous, medium sized plant, with finely divided leaves.  

Euryops 'Sunshine Classic Fine'

This beauty is a New Plant Nursery selection with bright yellow daisy flowers on vigorous, medium height plants, in winter, spring and summer. The leaves are more finely divided and the bushes are smaller and neater than E. 'Sunshine Classic'.

In the Garden:

Euryops are excellent pioneer species and one of the first plants to re-establish themselves after a fire. In the winter rainfall regions they make great water-wise plants and are lovely planted in fynbos gardens. Euryops looks good planted in groups of three and is a great filler plant for cottage gardens and perennial or mixed shrub borders; it also grows easily in pots. The seeds will also attract many seed eating birds to your garden, and the flowers are attractive to butterflies and many other insect pollinators, who will in turn, attract insect eating birds.

Euryops variegated. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaEuryops variegated. Picture courtesy www.newplant.co.zaCultivation/Propagation:
 
Euryops are evergreen and grow quickly and easily both inland and at the coast, as long as they can be planted in full sun. These plants will not tolerate soggy feet, so prepare your soil well. Euryops can vary greatly in size, depending on the soil and the climate in which they are grown. They are hardy to frost (about -1 C) and some will even tolerate severe frost. Water moderately during dry spells, and in the summer rainfall regions they will require regular watering in winter and spring. Prune the bush back lightly after it has finished flowering, and cut it fairly hard every couple of years; after about 5 years the plants will become straggly and will need replacing.

Plants are easily propagated from soft wood cuttings taken in spring or autumn and can also be grown from seeds.

Pests & Diseases:

Pests problems with Euryops are pretty much non-existent. The only real problem you might encounter is root rot if you don't take care to plant in well-drained soil.

Toxicity:

We do not know which euryops species have been tested for toxicity; some sources cite that several species are poisonous if ingested, while others state that they are non-toxic. 

Additional Info

  • Common Name: Wild Daisy Bush, Harpuisbos
  • Latin Name: Euryops