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)

Name Derivation:

  • Felicia – named to honor Herr Felix, an official in Regerisburg, Germany, who died in 1846.

  • amelloides – resembles Amellus, a closely related genus.

Common Names:

  • Blue Felicia, shrubby felicia (Eng), bloumagriet and blou-astertjie (Afr).

Form:                                   A shrubby, perennial groundcover.

Size:                                     45 cm by 45 cm.

 Flower:

  • 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.

 Foliage:

  • Evergreen.

  • 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.

Care:

  • 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.

 

Water Requirements:

  • Although drought hardy, thrives on regular water.

  • Water-wise.

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.

 

Birds:

  • Insectivorous birds will forage in and among the plants.

 Butterflies:

  • 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.

 Natural Distribution:

  • 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.