Senecio is a very large genus of plants, with more than 1,000 species scattered throughout the world.
But did you know that not all Senecios are succulents?
Only about 100 Senecios are considered succulent plants. Today we will focus on these Senecio lower classifications.
1,000 Types of Succulents with Pictures
- 1 Senecio – Characteristics and Care
- 2 Senecio Lower Classifications
- 2.1 Senecio acaulis
- 2.2 Senecio anteuphorbium
- 2.3 Senecio articulatus
- 2.4 Senecio barbertonicus
- 2.5 Senecio cedrorum
- 2.6 Senecio citriformis
- 2.7 Senecio crassissimus
- 2.8 Senecio ficoides
- 2.9 Senecio fulgens
- 2.10 Senecio haworthii
- 2.11 Senecio herreianus
- 2.12 Senecio jacobsenii
- 2.13 Senecio kleinia
- 2.14 Senecio kleiniiformis
- 2.15 Senecio longiflorus
- 2.16 Senecio oxyriifolius
- 2.17 Senecio pendulus
- 2.18 Senecio radicans
- 2.19 Senecio rowleyanus
- 2.20 Senecio scaposus
- 2.21 Senecio scaposus var. addoensis
- 2.22 Senecio stapeliiformis
- 2.23 Senecio talinoides
- 2.24 Senecio talinoides subs. cylindricus
- 2.25 Senecio talinoides subs. mandraliscae
Senecio – Characteristics and Care
Most Senecio succulents are small plants, excellent for use as a cover in gardens or in pots. Like most succulents, they are very drought and heat tolerant.
Keep in mind that many species of these plants are toxic to animals. Be careful with pets and children.
|Botanical name:||Senecio spp.|
|Cold resistance:||Senecio likes hot climates. Some species can tolerate brief periods of cold or humidity, but prolonged exposure will harm them.|
|Lighting:||Some can handle being in full sun, but most prefer some direct sun in the morning and filtered light the rest of the day.|
|Size:||Most senecio plants are low-growing. They are generally less than 1 foot (30 cm) tall.|
|Soil:||The most important thing about soil is that it drains well. Like many succulents, its roots tend to rot.|
|Irrigation:||Senecio succulents are extremely drought tolerant when established. If you grow it in pots, you can water it when the substrate dries completely.|
|Fertilization:||You can fertilize them with fish emulsion or worm castings during their active growing season.|
Senecio Lower Classifications
The leaves of Senecio acaulis are cylindrical, narrow and fleshy and usually grow as an inward rosette. The flowers bloom on separate tall stalks that grow up to 12 inches tall and are yellow in color.
Senecio anteuphorbium is a summer dormant deciduous suberect or scrambling shrub that can grow to 90 to 250 cm tall and wide, sometimes forming ragged thickets. This plant was one of the earliest of the succulents to be cultivated in Europe, with plantings dated around 1570.
Senecio articulatus is a deciduous succulent species that forms a somewhat sprawling clump 22-40 cm high by 30 cm or wider and spreads by tubers which form an underground scaffolding, an anchoring system. The plant is leafless during part of the year.
Senecio barbertonicus, named after one of its native localities Barberton, is a closely leafy succulent shrub that produces clusters of sweetly scented, golden yellow, tufted flower heads in winter and produces seeds with a dense tuft of bristles. But the most attractive features of this plant are its finger-like leaves pointing upwards along the branches. It is one of the least specialized and most common of the finger-leaved Senecios.
Senecio cedrorum is a glabrous glaucous evergreen subshrub to 50-60 cm tall. The leaves may be so flattened laterally as to seem vertical and looking as if turned on edge. The leaves are a glabrous blue, with darker green veins.
Senecio citriformis is a beautiful and unique scrambling succulent clothed with vertically-directed leaves spindle-shaped and small, somewhat resembling a lemon in outline. Leaves are covered in a grey-green waxy bloom, with transparent veins. It produces tiny clustering yellowish flowers in late summer to winter.
Senecio crassissimus, colloquially known as “Vertical leaf senecio” or “Propeller plant” is an evergreen leaf-succulent subshrub 45-80 cm tall by 40 cm wide with vertical ranks of silver-grey laterally positioned purple rimmed flattened fleshy leaves. Thick erect, stems produce bright yellow daisy-like flowers at the tips from mid-summer to autumn. The large leaves looking as if turned on the edge are the most distinctive feature.
Senecio ficoides is a small evergreen, quite glabrous, pruinose succulent shrublet to 1 metre or more. It is one of the most ornamental, with strongly tapered, succulent leaves that have a grey waxy bloom on their surfaces. Small clusters of cream-coloured flower heads are borne on the branch ends.
It is popular in cultivation since 1702, edible, and recently valued as a grafting stock for other succulent senecios. Senecio ficoides is a very common species and local variants are commonplace, but its leaves, which are always taller than wide, distinguish it from the group around Senecio talinoides.
Senecio fulgens, best known as Kleinia fulgens, is quite a nice looking herbaceous perennial subshrubs up to 60 cm tall with a profusion of reddish flowers. The bright orange-red flower heads resemble a thistle. Succulent leaves seem to be spirally arranged and stem emerge from a tuberous succulent, shapeless rootstock. Plants are everywhere covered with a pale green glaucous bloom and are hairless throughout.
Senecio haworthii also known as Woolly Senecio is a perennial dwarf shrub with both stems and succulent leaves covered in densely woven white felt. Possibly the prettiest plant in the genus and better known in cultivation as Kleinia tomentosa. When grown well and kept under glass, with a minimum amount of watering, leaves appear to be pure white.
Senecio herreianus, formerly widely known as Kleinia gomphophylla, is a popular hanging plant with oval pointed bead-like leaves on long, hanging sprout axils. It is similar to the more common Senecio rowleyanus, which has the same common names. The leaves are larger, less globular, more elongate (shaped like a spindle), and more glaucous. The stems are thicker, stiffer, and somewhat more erect. The evenly spaced leaves form a seemingly endless chain of beads as they creep among the soil. The white feather-duster flowers are very similar too.
Senecio jacobsenii, colloquially known as “Trailing Jade” or “Weeping jade”, is a glabrous evergreen, perennial leaf-succulent creeper with flat, overlapping leaves that are shades of greenish pink and maroon, along green stems, and brilliant orange blooms in late summer and early fall. This plant has also been called Kleinia petraea and Notoniopsis petraea and the correct name is still in debate today.
Senecio kleinia is a very popular plant widely grown as Kleinia neriifolia. It has the habit of a miniature dragon tree (Dracena draco) with forked branches having tufts of blue-green leaves. Although eventually reaching a height of several meters, moderate-sized specimens of this species may be produced in pots. The long leaves often resemble those of oleander, but can also be narrower. The broad-leaved variant from Lanza-rote and Gomera has been treated Kleinia neriifolia f. ovalifolia G.Kunkel.
Senecio kleiniiformis, commonly called Spearhead is a slow-growing succulent with light grey-green fleshy leaves, which are basically three(or five)-sided and look a bit like a spear or arrow tip. The species is variable; in some instances, leaves may be shorter and spoon-shaped. It produces profuse pale yellow flowers that are not that attractive at the end of summer and early fall.
Senecio longiflorus is a perennial much-branched shrub in the Asteraceae family (Daisy). Its very succulent blue-green stems grow in an erect upright manner to heights of 30-70 cm, but they may as much as 1.8 meters, making it appear somewhat like a Euphorbia, although the absence of milky sap distinguishes it readily from that genus. It is usually leafless or nearly during most of the year.
It was first described as a Kleinia but was transferred to Senecio, a vast cosmopolitan genus of probably over 2,000 species which are extremely varied in habitat. Senecio longiflorus is a typical example of a species that would be included in Kleinia if it were recognized as a distinct genus. It has an inflorescence in the form of a pale yellow or cream capitulum (apparently a single flower, actually several …).
When in seed, the shrubs are a striking sight with their tufts of long white hairs. It is a very variable plant with at least three subspecies recognized, the nominate form, Senecio longiflorus ssp. scottii and Senecio longiflorus subs. madagascariensis.
Senecio oxyriifolius is a glabrous deciduous perennial herb 40–110 cm high with creeping, horizontal, fleshy, or woody tuberous rootstock producing a single and erect flowering stem. The leaves are fleshy, hairless, almost round, with a slender stalk up to 150 mm long. The blade is often attached to the stalk by the lower surface (instead of the margin), the margin is variable but usually more or less coarsely toothed. The Flowers (capitula) are few to many, discoid, in panicles, on long, smooth stalks. Has disc florets only (rarely 1 or 2 ray florets) and are bright yellow. The leaves of this species are extremely variable.
The Inch Worm (Senecio pendulus) is a creeping cactus-like succulent with multi-colored green stems and showy red blooms that belongs to the sunflower family. It’s beautifully grey-green stems marbled in a pale green arch over and touch the soil where they root and send out new stems. It has long been favored in succulent collections as a curiosity, as it recalls moth caterpillars that arch their backs when walking. Stems often turn purplish in strong light.
Senecio radicans, widely known as String of Bananas or Fish Hooks Senecio, is a popular hanging plant forming a waterfall of slender, flexible stems lined with curved banana blue-green leaves. It is similar to the more common String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), but the leaves are larger, much more elongated (shaped like a banana), glossy with an alternate arrangement, and have a delicate branching pattern of the strands. The stems are thicker and somewhat more erect. The evenly spaced leaves form a seemingly endless chain of green “bananas” as they creep among the soil. The white and mauve rayless heads of flowers are similar too. It is widespread and very variable but not readily divisible into subspecies.
Senecio rowleyanus, colloquially known as “String of Beads” is a unique-looking succulent plant with thin, wiry stems that carry peas/pearls/beads shaped leaves along their, entire lengths. Cultivated in sunny windowsills or in hanging baskets it will rapidly form dense bunches of thin stems dangling over the edge of a pot. Variegated cultivars are available.
Senecio scaposus is a stemless or nearly stemless small perennial succulent, Height and width up to 30 cm. Groundcover, cespitose in habitat or surculose-spreading, forming large mats.
Senecio scaposus var. addoensis
Senecio scaposus typically has spindle-shaped leaves covered with velvety white tomentum. In the variety addoensis the leaf-tips are often flattened, crimped or lobed, resulting in a triangular-pointed to spoon shape. The young leaves have a white to silvery felted covering (tomentum) that allows the green of the leaf to show. The silvery covering may be shed as they get older. This felted covering is an adaptation to the dry conditions under which the plant grows and serves to reflect the sunlight, preventing over-heating or burning. In time it forms a small clump.
Senecio stapeliiformis (Sometimes spelled Senecio Stapeliaeformis or stapeliformis) is an attractive succulent species with prettily marked pencil-like stems with purple-green patterns and soft spines along the sides, the whole recalling a Stapelia in form (hence the name), but has a large orange hawkweed-like flower. Underground shoots emerge to form erect.
Senecio talinoides is an evergreen perennial semi-trailing succulent shrub up to 40 cm tall and 60 (or more) cm wide with leaves angled upward from the ground. This species forms a variable complex creating problems for identification of the several subspecies and forms, most with a marked juvenile phase characterized by short branches and short leaves more similar to those of Senecio citriformis. For the present 5 subspecies are recognized, the nominate, subsp. aizoides, subsp. chordifolius, subsp. cylindricus and subsp. mandraliscae. The subsp. talinoides is similar to Senecio talinoides subsp. mandraliscae but with finer texture.
Senecio talinoides subs. cylindricus
The Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks, Senecio talinoides subs. cylindricus is a low growing, glabrous, pruinose, evergreen succulent shrub 45- to 60 cm tall and spreading to 90 to 150 cm wide. It has semi-prostrate stems that turn upright and is distinguished from the standard Senecio talinoides by its leaves that are grey-green 7-15 cm long, tubular, slender, slightly upcurved, and crowded at the tips of the stems. The small rayless dull cream-colored flowers appear in corymbs in late spring to early summer. This plant is commonly listed as Senecio cylindricus but acknowledge that it is correctly considered to be a subspecies of Senecio talinoides, together with the more ground-hugging and lower growing but similar Senecio mandraliscae. It is also found under the name Senecio vitalis.
Senecio talinoides subs. mandraliscae
The blue chalk sticks, Senecio talinoides subs. mandraliscae is a mysterious taxon, probably hybrid, distinguished from the standard Senecio talinoides by a marked juvenile phase characterized by short branches and short leaves more similar to those of Senecio citriformis 5-8 times as long as wide, later elongating. It is the bluest of the “talinoides” with a waxy white coating that protects it from hot, sunny, and dry conditions.