There is some controversy about the identity of the flowers that Micky Mouse picks at the porch to present to Minnie Mouse when she answers the door. Some insist that they are Transvaal daisy, Gerbera hybrida. When they are not in black and white, the substantial daisy flowers are cartoon hues of yellow, orange, red, pink and white, sometimes with chocolatey brown or black centers.
Transvaal daisies are always available as cut flowers, but bloom best in cool spring and autumn weather in home gardens. Most garden varieties have single flowers on bare stems. Most cut flowers are semi-double. Double flowers that resemble zinnias, and spider flowers that resemble spider mums, are rare. Coarse basal foliage gets almost a foot high and a foot and a half wide.
Because the foliage is so vulnerable to snails, Transvaal daisy is usually grown in pots rather than in the ground or immobile planters. Besides, potted plants can be brought into the home or put in prominent spots while blooming, and then put out of sight between bloom.
Transvaal daisy wants partial shade, regular watering and occasional feeding. It can take full sun exposure if not too hot. -- Tony Tomeo