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Kleinia cephalophora (Mountain Fire)

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Scientific Name

Kleinia cephalophora Compton

Common Names

Mountain Fire, Blazing Glory, Cliff Kleinia

Synonyms

Senecio cephalophorus

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Kleinia cephalophora is a striking, succulent-stemmed, perennial shrub up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall, with blue-green leaves and large, beautiful, nodding flowerheads. The leaves are lanceolate, slightly succulent, blue-green, with margins strongly recurved, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and up to 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) wide. The flowerheads are solitary, up to 1.2 inch (3 cm) in diameter, with florets bright yellow, sometimes becoming orange.

Photo via inaturalist.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Established Senecios are extremely drought tolerant. They do need some water, during the summer, but do not leave the soil wet for prolonged periods. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings in the winter, when they are somewhat dormant. Since they are growing in sandy soil, nutrients will need to be replenished. Fertilize annually, but lightly. Too much fertilizer will cause a lot of leggy growth.

Taller varieties can get floppy. You can prune them back to where the stem is firm, in very early spring. You can even root the cuttings.

Plants can be divided or repotted in early spring. If you are growing them in containers, they enjoy spending the summer outdoors. Wait until there is no danger of frost and move them back indoors in the fall.

Senecio can be grown from either seed or cuttings. Seeds prefer warm temperatures, around 55 °F (13 °C), and constant moisture to germinate. Cuttings are easier and faster. Cut during the growing season, early spring to fall. Root in sandy soil, in containers… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Senecio

Origin

Kleinia cephalophora is native to southern Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape).

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