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Curio talinoides var. mandraliscae (Blue Chalk Sticks)

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Scientific Name

Curio talinoides var. mandraliscae (Tineo) P. V. Heath

Common Names

Blue Chalk Sticks, Blue Finger, Blue Stick Succulent

Synonyms

Kleinia mandraliscae, Senecio mandraliscae, Senecio talinoides subsp. mandraliscae

Scientific Classification

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

Origin

The origin of this succulent is a mystery and is probably a hybrid. It was first described in 1855 by Vincenzo Tineo based on specimens collected by Enrico Pirajno baron of Mandralisca on the Vulcano, a small island located at the southernmost end of the seven Aeolian Islands.

Description

Curio talinoides var. mandraliscae, formerly known as Senecio talinoides var. mandraliscae or Senecio mandraliscae, is a spreading succulent, up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall, with pencil-like, blue-gray leaves with a waxy white coating. Stems are erect at first, becoming procumbent, often rooting at the nodes and forming dense mats. They grow up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter and up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long. Leaves are fleshy, slightly curved, up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter and up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. Flowers are small, rayless, dull-white, held in corymbs, and appear in summer.

The subspecific epithet "mandraliscae" honors Enrico Pirajno baron of Mandralisca (1809-1864).

How to Grow and Care

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 talinoides var. mandraliscae can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 to 50 °F (-6.7 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9a 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.

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

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Curio.

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