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Life After Lawn: Gazania with a future

“Christopher Lloyd” gazania flowers through the summer.
“Christopher Lloyd” gazania flowers through the summer.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Christopher Lloyd gazania

Gazania “Christopher Lloyd”

Size: 8 to 12 inches tall and wide

Bloom season: Large pink flowers from late spring until early fall

Exposure: Full sun

Pruning needs: None

Water needs: Medium to low water; once established, irrigate it once a week or every other week.

Snapshot: This distinctive hybrid shares its name with the popular actor of “Back to the Future” fame, but will earn gardening fans for its own future in low-water landscapes. Like other gazanias (which are native to South Africa), this low-growing perennial ground cover features narrow green foliage and a long bloom period from late spring to early fall. Beautiful large daisylike pink flowers have unusual markings with a contrasting green band at the base of the petals around a yellow center with darker stripes down the middle of each petal. Frost-sensitive, it needs protection from prolonged freezing temperatures.

Plant sale: The arboretum teaching nursery will host its first 2016 “Membership Appreciation Sale,” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 12. New members can join at the door.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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