Blue Felicia - The Felicia Amelloides

Felicia amelloides is from the Asteraceae family and is found quite abundantly in South Africa. The vibrant blue bloom of the Felicia amelloides is its identifying trademark, and has earned it the alternative names of the blue Felicia, blue marguerite, and blue daisy. It is also known as the shrubby Felicia and the Paris daisy.

Did you know?

The blue flowers of the Felicia amelloides stand out in the garden and attract the eye. This is an evergreen shrublet that averages a height of between 30 and 60 centimetres but, in some cases, can reach about a metre in height. There are tiny hairs on the stems and the leaves, giving the plant a rough feeling.

The leaves are dark green on the top and lighter on their undersides, and are arranged in a relatively elliptical pattern. The flower heads are perched on the tops of naked stems, and reach about three centimetres in diameter. Inside each flower are about a dozen female ray florets and a number of yellow disc florets. Each floret has a pappus (or a modified calyx) of a ring of white bristles. The fruit is dark brown and covered in tiny hairs.

Flowering time

The flowering time of the Felicia amelloides is not cast in stone, so to speak. In some areas, it grows all year round while, in others, it may only bloom in the summer months. Generally, they have a long life span, and each plant can be expected to live about five years if their habitat and conditions are normal.

Use in the garden

The unusual blue shade of the flowers makes the Felicia amelloides a popular garden plant. The flower attracts bees, butterflies and wasps, as well as some spiders and thrips. This makes it a contributor to biodiversity in the garden. In sandy areas, it can aid (to a certain degree) in the stabilising of the soil to prevent it from washing or blowing away.

Natural distribution

Naturally, the Felicia amelloides hails from the coastal areas of the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. It does not extend very far inland, reaching only the Winterhoek Mountains and the Van Stadens Mountains near Port Elizabeth in Nelson Mandela Bay, and Ecca Pass, just outside Grahamstown. It can grow at altitudes of anything between 0 and 1 000 metres above sea level. It favours dunes and the point at which sand dunes and bushy scrub meet.

Growing Felicia amelloides in your garden

This is a hardy plant that can withstand most weather conditions and soil types. In areas in which it is cold and rainy, your Felicia amelloides may require soils with good drainage systems and a little shelter. It does well in a rockery, in boxes and pots, or growing freely as a bush. It prefers sunny conditions and light, sandy soil. It should be moderately watered on a regular basis through the hot summer months.


Felicia amelloides is easily propagated from cuttings, which can be taken and planted in spring. This is a quicker method than by seed and gardeners can expect their plant to flower in about one year. Cuttings should have only the top leaves left intact, and the rest should be stripped off. Once planted, they should be covered with a plastic bottle to keep them moist at all times. Once it is established, it will grow quickly and easily, usually propagating itself by seed dispersal.

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