Felicia ameloides, Blue Felicia, is a cheerful and ‘sunny’ addition to any garden. Its daisy flowers are sky or even darker blue with yellow centers and are borne in profusion. It can be mass planted as a groundcover, or mixed with other colourful perennials or used alone as a focal plant in small gardens. It grows and flowers best in full sun but will still flower well in dappled shade.
Family: ASTERACEAE (Daisy family)
Felicia – named to honor Herr Felix, an official in Regerisburg, Germany, who died in 1846.
amelloides – resembles Amellus, a closely related genus.
Blue Felicia, shrubby felicia (Eng), bloumagriet and blou-astertjie (Afr).
Form: A shrubby, perennial groundcover.
Size: 45 cm by 45 cm.
About 12 ‘ray’ flowers each with a large, single petal, that surround numerous small, yellow flowers.
These flowerheads are borne above the plant on slender stalks.
Colour: Sky or darker blue, or white with yellow centre.
Fragrant: Not scented.
Flowering Months: Sep – Apr, all year in warm climates.
Felicia ameloides has typical daisy flower discs with a yellow center and sky blue ray-petals on the outer ring.
The simple leaves are more or less elliptical, (2 by 1 cm).
Normally dark green, there is a cultivar with green and white leaves
Thorns: No thorns.
Fruit: The seed is attached to a ‘fluffy parachute’ that enables wind dispersal.
Felicia ameloides, Blue Felicia, used as a groundcover against paving, with Dietes grandiflora, Wild Iris, as a backdrop.
In the Garden:
Felicia amelloides is a very versatile garden plant, and can be mass planted, inter-planted with other contrasting perennials or used as an edging plant.
Although probably best in full sun it will grow and flower in partial shade.
Well suited to containers and planters, where it can be used on its own or as a ‘base’ to larger specimen plants.
Good companion plants include Scabiosa africana, S. “Blue Butterfly” S. “Pink Mist”, various Helichrysium species, Agapanthus species and cultivars, and Bulbine frutescense.
Planting spacing: 3 per square metre.
Soil Needs: Well composted soil with good drainage.
A low maintenance garden plant.
Dead heading old flowers will encourage more flowers.
Prune at annually to retain form and youth.
Feed with an organic fertilizer like 2:3:2 or 3:1:5 and mulch with compost.
Like many soft herbs, Felicia amelloides may be host to dodder (Cuscuta campestris).
Cold Hardiness: Hardy.
Although drought hardy, thrives on regular water.
Felicia ameloides “Variegata”, that has variegated leaves, used in fairly deep shade as a groundcover with Clivia miniata in the Free State Botanical Gardens, Bloemfontein.
Felicia ameloides used as a border to a lawn in a garden in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.
Light Requirements: Partial shade to full sun.
Roots: Not invasive.
Insectivorous birds will forage in and among the plants.
Adult butterflies do visit the flowers.
Medicinal: No medicinal use found.
Poisonous: Not Poisonous.
Notes of interest:
There is a form with white and yellow flowers known as Felicia amelloides ‘Alba’ and form, Felicia ameloides ‘Variegata’ that has variegated green and white leaves.
Found in the WC and EC along the coastal strip from De Hoop to the Kei River.
Endemic to South Africa.
Natural Habitat: Found on stony flats and hillsides and older coastal sand dunes.
© Malcolm Dee Hepplewhite & Witkoppen Wildflower Nursery, (Text and Photographs) 2012 & 2018.