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SENECIO serpens

Image of Senecio serpens

James H. Schutte

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

SENECIO serpens

Plant Common Name

Miniature Blue Chalksticks

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Smaller and tougher, this fine texture blue succulent groundcover is ideal color for coastal frost free gardens. This plant is native to the Cape region of South Africa where the dry season is long and hot but tempered by the marine influence. It is a shorter alternative to the popular blue sticks or Senecio ficoides, offering a bit more heat resistance inland. This plant is a short creeper that sends out traveling stems topped with upstanding blunt tipped leaves. They are sky blue but take on showy purple tints in extreme heat and sunlight They root as they travel, creating sizable masses of color.

This succulent blooms in spring with small cream colored flower heads produced at the branch tips. They are not very showy and may be cut off to preserve the beauty of the foliage. This is a must have plant for low, wide succulent color bowls to bounce of hot pink and red rosettes. It also creeps down rock gardens where the climate and exposure is just right. Grow in a solarium in the winter for beautiful living color. Like all succulents, this one demands very well drained porous soils with plenty of sharp sand. Water scantly in winter but often in the summer for fast growth.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Native To

    Southern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No