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Fine-leaved Felicia

Felicia filifolia

Wild aster, Needle-leaved Felicia (Eng.), Draaibos, Steenbokbossie (Afr.)

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A hardy, low growing shrub with aromatic needle-like foliage which flowers on mass with purple daisy-like flowers in spring time. Occurring naturally in both summer and winter rainfall regions in Southern Africa, being able to withstand frost and a wide range of temperatures as well as being very water wise are all qualities that make this plant ideal for most temperate, rocky or most other types of South African gardens. This cheerful plant has ornamental qualities, is easy to grow and maintain and even has medicinal use.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Harvest seeds in summer after flowering in spring. Flowers can also be cut at peak of flowering season for flower arrangements.

Propagation

Seed
Sowing time in Autumn. Sow seeds very shallow directly onto the ground. Germination time is less than a month. Space seedlings 1m apart.
Cuttings
Stem cuttings treated with growth hormone and planted in damp soil.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Insects such bees and butterflies, amongst many other pollen seeking insects.
Attracts birds
Pollinating insects attract insectivorous birds.
Pot plant
Good plant to plant in containers given sufficient drainage holes.
Drought resistant
Drought-tolerant once established; suitable for xeriscaping.

Geography

Origin
Southern Africa
Natural climate
Mediterranean and semi-arid

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
A mixture of this plant with Mentha longifolia (Balderja) is used as a treatment for chest ailments, asthma and bronchitis.
Notes
A cheerful water wise garden plant that attracts insects.

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
Purple, mauve to white.
Scent
None

Problems

Generally pest and disease free.

Companion plants

Helichrysum sp., Eriocephalus africanus, Gazania sp.

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