Venidium: Monarch of the Veldt
Height 60cm (2ft)
Planting distance 30cm (1ft)
Flowers early summer to early autumn
Monarch of the veldt (Venidium fastuosum), a half-hardy annual from South Africa, deserves more attention from gardeners. Its large sunflower-like blooms are particularly striking – rich orange with a black central disc – and are attractively set off by silver-white, deeply lobed woolly leaves. The variety ‘Zulu Prince’ has creamy-whitewith a black central zone.
Appearing between early summer and mid autumn, they look best planted in bold drifts in borders and beds. They are long-lasting as cut flowers.
In early to, sow the seeds under glass at a temperature of 16°C (61°F), just covering them with compost. Prick out the seedlings into boxes or pots and harden off before planting outdoors in late spring, 30cm (1ft) apart.
For late-flowering plants, sow the seeds directly in the flowering site in late spring, later thinning the seedlings.
Monarch of the veldt grows reasonably well in most soils, though well-drained soil enriched with organic matter is ideal. The site must be sunny. Usually the plants need staking.
Pests and diseases