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Senecio oxyriifolius (False Nasturtium)

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Scientific Name

Senecio oxyriifolius DC.

Common Names

False Nasturtium

Synonyms

Senecio oxyriifolius subsp. oxyriifolius, Senecio orbicularis, Senecio peltatus, Senecio peltiformis, Senecio subpeltatus

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Senecio oxyriifolius is a succulent plant with a creeping tuberous rhizome and erect, fleshy stems with leaves crowded towards the base. The leaves are fleshy or somewhat fleshy with a rubbery texture, rounded, and up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) in diameter. They are pale green or grey-green, with serrated margins and green-yellow veins, and joined to the stem by up to 6 inches (15 cm) long stalk. Each stem ends in a tall, slender, branched flowering stem topped with a lax panicle of bright yellow discoid flower heads. This plant is a prolific bloomer, producing abundant flowers in spring and summer. It is very similar to and often confused with Senecio tropaeolifolius.

Senecio oxyriifolius (False Nasturtium)

Photo via ispotnature.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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 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 and constant moisture to germinate. Cuttings are easier and faster. Cut during the growing season, from early spring to fall. Root in sandy soil, in containers.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Senecio.

Origin

Senecio oxyriifolius is native to South AfricaAngola, Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Swaziland.

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