Venidium: Monarch of the Veldt

Height 60cm (2ft)

Planting distance 30cm (1ft)

Flowers early summer to early autumn

Well-drained fertile soil

Sunny site

Half-hardy annual

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-white flowers with 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.

Cultivation

In early to mid spring, 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

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Venidium: Monarch of the Veldt

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