The Barberton Daisy was discovered in 1884 in Barberton (Mpumalanga) by Robert Jameson, after whom it is named: Gerbera Jamesonii. Since then it has been propogated by mainly Dutch breeders – they created many varieties: colors, number of petals and size were mixed and matched into the wonderful flowers you can buy today at florists worldwide.
The Gerbera Association was established in 2002 with the following goals:
1) Conservation of Gerbera species (several local ‘varieties’ are endangered)
3) Protection (breeders from all over the world need the genes of the original plants, which they try to smuggle out of the country)
4) Awareness: South Africa doesn’t benefit at all from the global popularity of the Gerbera – local growers have to import seeds…
On the extended website, www.gerbera.org, you will find more on the history of this beautiful plant, the varieties, diseases and places of interest.
In Barberton itself you can go on hiking trails into the mountains to see the daisy in its natural habitat. For the more adventurous, go on a guided quadbike or 4 x 4 tour in one of the most beautiful, undiscovered(!) areas of South Africa.