Gousblom - The Gazania Krebsiana

Gazania krebsiana is one of the daisies, coming from the varied Asteraceae family, and is well known for its prevalence in the Western and Northern Cape provinces, when Namaqualand bursts into a colourful array of wild flowers (see the Namaqualand flower route).

Did you know? Previously known as the Gazania pavonia, it is also called the terracotta gazania in English and the gousblom, botterblom or rooi gazania in Afrikaans.

The Gazania krebsiana is a perennial plant, characterised by the vibrant red-brown bloom with dark brown markings towards the lower end. The plant reaches about 15 centimetres in height and 20 centimetres in width, and make for excellent groundcover as a result.

The dark green leaves are shiny on top and soft, or velvety, on the underside. On each healthy plant, there will be about two dozen fruit, each of which has a covering of fine hairs to enable efficient wind dispersal.

Flowering time

Gazania krebsiana flowers from late winter (August) until mid-summer (January). Their most abundant and lush period is over October and November, when formal tours of Namaqualand are often conducted to showcase the exquisite colours of the countryside’s blooms.

Use in the garden

Because the Gazania krebsiana is pollinated by birds, bees, butterflies, ants and beetles, it attracts these wonderful creatures into your garden. They also make for gorgeous natural ornaments, bedecking your garden in a colourful rug over the spring months. They stabilise the soil well, and are favourites amongst little animals that like to graze.

Natural distribution

Gazania krebsiana is widespread throughout South Africa, despite its being particularly well known for blanketing the Western Cape landscape. In fact, its distribution stretches all the way from the Western Cape through the Eastern Cape and up to KwaZulu-Natal, and inland to the Great Karoo, Free State, Lowveld and Gauteng.

Growing Gazania in your garden

The shallow root system of the Gazania krebsiana means that they react well to watering and make for great pioneer plants. They are hardy and versatile, able to grow in many different soil types (despite preferring clay and sandy soil). They adapt quickly and easily to the climate and conditions of their habitat.

In the hot summer months, the plant may shrivel up. It has not died, but is minimising the surface area exposed to the sun and conserving water- and nutrient consumption. It requires sun, and a little watering, but not too much.


The easiest way to propagate Gazania krebsiana is to mix the fruit with a little sand and then plant this mixture directly into soil that has been loosened and aerated. Water it immediately. Mixing the fruits with the sand allows for better distribution. It will take less than a week for these seeds to germinate.

Keep the seedlings in a tray until they are strong and well established. Thereafter, they can be moved to the garden. Seeds should be sown in April.

Plan your travel to South Africa to visit our magnificent botanical gardens and to enjoy our diverse plant life and unspoiled wilderness: Start your search for accommodations in South Africa for your holiday. We wish you happy exploring and travelling.

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