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Curio citriformis (String of Tears)


Scientific Name

Curio citriformis (G.D.Rowley) P.V.Heath

Common Names

String of Tears, String of Lemons


Senecio citriformis

Scientific Classification

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


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


Curio citriformis, formerly known as Senecio citriformis, is a beautiful succulent with unique teardrop-shaped leaves on erect or procumbent, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long stems. Leaves are soft green to deep green with translucent longitudinal stripes and covered with a waxy coating. They are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) in diameter. Small heads of creamy-yellow flowers appear from late summer to winter on thin, up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall, wiry stalks.

This species is similar in appearance to Curio herreanus.

The specific epithet "citriformis" derives from the Latin words "citrus," meaning "lemon" and "forma," meaning "shape," and refers to the shape of the leaves.

Curio citriformis (String of Tears) aka Senecio citriformis

Photo by Cok Grootscholten

How to Grow and Care for Curio citriformis

Light: Keep Curio plants in partial shade if outdoors, which is their preference in summer, and bright sunlight if indoors. They will grow in full shade but will become lank and leggy.

Soil: These plants prefer well-draining soil. For growing Curio indoors, it is essential to use a container with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.

Hardiness: Curio citriformis can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: Curio plants are drought tolerant, but the soil should never be left dry for too long. They do need some water during the growing season but be careful not to leave the soil wet for prolonged periods.

Fertilizing: The members of this genus can take a bit more fertilizer than other succulents if you want them to grow fast.

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

Propagation: These plants can be grown from seeds or cuttings.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Curio.

Toxicity of Curio citriformis

Curio plants are toxic. Grow them with great care if you have children, pets, or livestock.


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