Berkheya purpurea

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Berkheya purpurea (DC.) Mast.

Asteraceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   7

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: sandy clay

Arrangement: rosette
Leaves: decidious

Shape: oblanceolate

Division: simple

Shape: many-stellate
Fruit: achene

75D / cfb0e0 

Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Asteridae
Superordo:
Asteranae
Ordo:
Asterales

Berkheya purpurea is a perennial with pale purple, rarely white ray florets and dark purple disk florets.

Naming

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.

Taxonomy

Berkheya purpurea is a species in the genus Berkheya which contains approximately 94 to 101 species and belongs to the family of the Asteraceae (Aster Family).

Berkheya purpurea - habitus
Berkheya purpurea - buds
Berkheya purpurea - flowers
Berkheya purpurea - inflorescence
Berkheya purpurea - leaves

Growth

The comparatively fast-growing and long-lived perennials reach heights of 30 to 100 centimetres.

Leaves

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.

Root System

The plants form tap roots.

Distribution

Berkheya purpurea is native to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Cultivation

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 -18°C (USDA zone 7).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber:

  • open areas
  • rock steppes (e.g. gravel or rubble beds)
  • rockeries
  • steppes/dry forests (usually calcareous soil)

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: winter dampness

Uses

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.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große 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.

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