What are Euryops?

N. Phipps

Some people know it by African yellow daisy. Others may call it yellow bush daisy. No matter what the common name may be, this ornamental, evergreen shrub is generally known by its genus name Euryops. With over ninety species found most in Africa, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While the gray-green to green, nearly luminescent foliage remains attractive all season, the bright yellow, daisy-like flowers are the shrubs’ main feature.

Known by some as the African yellow daisy, Euryops shrubs are native to South Africa.
Known by some as the African yellow daisy, Euryops shrubs are native to South Africa.

Euryops shrubs make great additions to sunny gardens and borders. They’re also good for use as screening when planted in groups. The long-lasting blooms and wiry stems make excellent choices for cut-flower arrangements too. Since they’re native to South Africa, the shrubs are well adapted to dry, arid conditions and tolerant of drought.

African yellow daisies can survive some fairly extreme conditions but they still require well-draining soil. These shrubs also need to be protected or sheltered in colder regions, as most species of Euryops are not winter hardy. African yellow daisy shrubs can be successfully grown in containers. Therefore, in areas that are prone to cold temperatures and harsh winters, it is advisable to overwinter them indoors in pots.

Euryops shrubs that are planted outdoors in warmer regions can benefit from a layer of mulch for winter protection. This will also keep newly planted shrubs moist as they become established. Once African yellow daisies have established themselves, they require little care or maintenance. It is a good idea, however, to deadhead spent blooms from time to time. This not only promotes additional flowering but also keeps them healthy overall.

Pruning is usually not necessary when growing Euryops shrubs. Cutting back the entire plant could actually do more harm than good. Ideally, it’s recommended that only dead, weak, or overcrowded branches be removed instead. Occasional trimming for shape is acceptable as well.

These shrubs are said to be easily propagated and even self-seeding. The seeds can be sown in spring or summer. Seedlings are easily transplanted to other parts of the garden or containers. Cuttings can also be taken in early spring.

While not well-known as a medicinal plant, it is possible to harvest resin from the stem and branches. The genus name actually translates to "resin bush," which is believed to originate from this characteristic. The resin was once historically valued for its alleged medicinal properties. It was used as a substitute for gum, and to treat the leather of saddles and boots.

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