Plant Family / Senecio
Grown for its striking foliage, Jacobaea maritima or Senecio cineraria (Dusty Miller), is a bushy perennial or subshrub with silvery, finely textured, dissected leaves, sometimes with a lace-like appearance. Attractive throughout the growing season, the leaves are covered with fine matted hairs, giving them a felted or woolly, silver or white appearance. Striking in the night garden, Dusty Miller is a versatile foliage plant which is perfect to soften color contrasts in the garden, tone down bright, hot colors.
Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides (Mexican Flame Vine) is an attractive evergreen vine with fleshy, arrowhead-shaped leaves and large clusters of brilliant flowers over a long season. Blooming from late spring to fall (all year in mild winter areas), daisy-like, fiery orange-red flowers, adorned with golden centers, appear at the branch tips. Attractive to butterflies and bees, they gradually mature to red and give way to small dandelion-like puffs of seed. Perfect on trellis, cascading over walls or in hanging baskets.
Prized for the shape and pretty color of its foliage, Senecio mandraliscae (Blue Chalksticks) is a spreading succulent from South Africa with 3-4 in. long (7-10 cm), silvery blue, finger-like fleshy leaves and small white flowers in summer. Quickly forming a dense blue mat with its upward curving leaves, this low-growing succulent is highly versatile and ideal as a border plant or as a groundcover. Great for creating a low, blue edging too.
A very popular ornamental plant, Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls) is a curious succulent vine with thick fleshy leaves that resemble glass beads. The threadlike stems are lined with tiny pea-shaped leaves which store water and enable the plant survival in dry climates. If the long stems can trail along the ground, they will root at the nodes to form a dense ground cover. Small creamy-white daisy-like flowers, adorned with long red stamens and bright yellow anthers, appear on short stalks in summer.
Hugging the ground, Senecio serpens (Blue Chalksticks) is a dwarf semi-trailing succulent of great ornamental appeal with its cylindrical blue-green leaves. Short, 1-2 in. long (3-5 cm), the powdery glaucous blue, finger-like fleshy leaves are born on the prostrate stems. Ascending at first, the stems become prostrate, suckering from the base and rooting at the nodes as they touch the ground. Small creamy-white flowers held in corymbs rise just above the foliage in mid-summer to early fall
Senecio vitalis (Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks) is a spreading evergreen succulent of great ornamental appeal with its cylindrical gray-green foliage. Its slender, slightly upcurved leaves, 3-5 in. long (7-12 cm), are glaucous-gray, finger-like. They encircle the trailing stems and form handsome tufts at the stem tips. Erect at first, the stems become procumbent and often root at the nodes as they touch the ground. Small creamy-white flowers held in corymbs rise just above the foliage in late spring to early summer.