Family AsteraceaeMany collectors of South African plants have raved about this attractive plant and J.D. Keet, who collected a specimen as early as 1918 in the Knysna District, said this 'showy shrub would be suitable for borders or hedges in gardens'. The species name virgineus comes from the Latin word virgo meaning virgin, untouched-certainly descriptive of the plant in full flower growing in its natural habitat. The flowers last well in a vase and will brighten a dull, cold winter's day!
Euryops virgineus is endemic to southern Africa and occurs naturally in the southern coastal areas from Bredasdorp in Western Cape to Alexandria in Eastern Cape, often at low altitudes. It extends inland into the Swartberg Mountains to about 1 200 m. It is found in fynbos on mountain sides, sandy hill slopes, roadsides and sometimes on limestone. It also grows in karroid scrub and in grassland.
Ecology and uses
The sweetly scented flowers are visited by swarms of honey-bees which are obviously responsible for the pollination of the florets. The fruits (cypselas) are not adapted for any special distribution mechanism and they will fall close to the mother plant. They could be carried away by a strong wind, heavy rain or insects.