If ever there were a flower tailor-made for bold color, it's the gerbera.
This happy-faced daisy, loved by flower arrangers, artists, and photographers, unfurls shapely petals, all neatly arranged around a tufted or velvety center.
It comes in a rainbow of glowing colors: sunny yellow, sassy orange, vivid red, flaming coral, hot pink, and deep fuchsia.
If subtle colors suit your taste, you'll also find the blooms in creamy white and a range of soft, sherbet shades like pale lemon and seashell pink.
As cut flowers, gerberas are practically unsurpassed. Their sturdy stems, topped with 4- to 5-inch-wide blooms, rise from rosettes of dark green, wavy-edged leaves.
Flowers are mostly fluffy doubles, with brown or yellow centers.
"Buying a single plant is cheaper than buying a bouquet, because a plant can bloom for years," says Luen Miller, a grower with Monterey Bay Nursery in California.