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Curio acaulis


Scientific Name

Curio acaulis (L. fil.) P. V. Heath


Cacalia acaulis, Kleinia acaulis, Kleinia ecklonis, Senecio acaulis

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Subtribe: Senecioninae
Genus: Curio


This species is native to South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland.


Curio acaulis, formerly known as Senecio acaulis, is a small succulent shrub with erect, grey-green leaves with longitudinal lines. The leaves are cylindrical, elongated, slightly curved inwards, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter. The solitary heads of yellow flowers are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter and appear in spring on up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall stems.


The specific epithet "acaulis (a-KAW-liss)" is a New Latin adjective derived from the Ancient Greek "ἄκαυλος‎." It means "stemless" or "having no stem or stalk" and refers to the species growth habit.

How to Grow and Care for Curio acaulis

Light: Keep your C. acaulis in partial shade if outdoors and bright sunlight if indoors. Avoid intense afternoon sun in summer. It will grow in full shade but will become lank and leggy.

Soil: As with most succulents, this plant prefers a well-draining soil mix. For growing C. acaulis indoors, it is essential to use a container with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.

Hardiness: C. acaulis can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b. The plant will not survive consistent temperatures below freezing.

Watering: Water regularly during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. This plant is drought tolerant, but the soil should never be left dry for too long. Reduce watering frequency during the winter months. Water only if the soil is completely dry.

Fertilizing: C. acaulis can take a bit more fertilizer than other succulents if you want it to grow fast. Feed your plant once a year with a dilute solution of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer in summer.

Repotting: You do not need to repot this plant often. You can do it when you see that the container becomes too small or shallow.

Propagation: This plant can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Seeds need warm temperatures or using seed warmer and constant moisture to germinate. Take cuttings during the spring and summer.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Curio.

Toxicity of Curio acaulis

C. acaulis is a toxic plant. Grow it with great care if you have children, pets, or livestock.


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