Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Golden gerbera

The gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) was discovered in 1884 near Barberton, South Africa, by Scotsman Robert Jameson. Jameson named the species after himself, but chose to honor German doctor and botanist Traugott Gerber by naming the genus for him.

Not much is known of Gerber or why the rather obscure botanist that predated Jameson by 150 years would have inspired him to name a newly discovered flower after Gerber. (A side note - trau gott means "trust God" in German.)

After completing his medical studies in Germany in the 1730s, Gerber was appointed by the private physician of the czarina of Russia to teach medicine at the university in Moscow and to create a botanical garden. Gerber died in Russia at the age of 33. (Another side note - Jesus died at the age of 33. Hmmm.) Gerber's garden is still in existence and the popularity of the gerbera daisy has never been higher. It ranks fifth in popularity behind the rose, carnation, chrysanthemum and tulip.

Besides the common attributes of all daisies – innocence, purity and beauty – the gerbera daisy has the added attribute of cheerfulness.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.


Wanda said...

James, I am so so glad you are posting these lovely flowers. You know you are really helping me get through winter...I visit you, and I know there is hope for Spring!!

Beautiful.... :)

Photowalker said...

Nice shot.