Berkheya purpurea (DC.) Mast.
Berkheya purpurea is a perennial with pale purple, rarely white ray florets and dark purple disk florets.
Berkheya purpurea was already described and the name validly published by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. It was Maxwell Tylden Masters, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1872 based on a prior description by George Bentham and Joseph Dalton Hooker.
The comparatively fast-growing and long-lived perennials reach heights of 30 to 100 centimetres.
Berkheya purpurea is deciduous. The mid-green to silver-grey, simple leaves are in rosettes. They are oblanceolate, spiny and sessile. The leaves are up to 25 centimetres large.
Flowers and Fruits
Berkheya purpurea produces solitary light-purple many-stellate flowers from June to August.
The perennials produce achenes.
The plants form tap roots.
Berkheya purpurea is native to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
The perennials prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy or sandy clay soil. They tolerate temperatures down to -18Â°C (USDA zone 7).
Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber:
- open areas
- rock steppes (e.g. gravel or rubble beds)
- steppes/dry forests (usually calcareous soil)
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: winter dampness
The recommended planting distance is 45 to 60 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 5 to 10. Suited for desert gardens and for rockeries, as well as suited as bee pasture.
Maintenance and Propagation
Propagate by sowing seed in pots in a cold frame in autumn or by division in spring. The plants will only recover slowly.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.