Friday, August 22, 2014

My favorite plant of the week: Senecio fulgens

Now that, thanks to Denise at A Growing Obsession, I have a name to attach to the robust succulent planted in a birdbath-style container in my dry garden, I can give it the acclaim it deserves as one of my favorite plants.  It's hard to name a plant as your favorite if you don't even know its genus.




I picked up the unlabeled Senecio fulgens a few months ago because I was attracted to its foliage.    Its leaves and stems are a chalky blue-green color.  Some on-line sources reference a purple flush on the undersides of the spoon-shaped leaves but I've seen no signs of this on my plant.




When I bought the plant, there were no flowers or flower buds.  Flower color wasn't a factor in my purchase decision.  But, when the plant began blooming a few weeks ago, the red-orange color of the flowers was impossible to miss.  New blooms seem to appear daily and there are lots of buds still forming.




Although I had no idea what color flowers it might produce when I planted it, it turned out that the floral color of the Senecio neatly echoes the color of other succulents in the container, most notably Kalanchoe daigremontiana 'Pink Butterflies' and the red edge of Agave 'Blue Glow.'  It also picks up on the foliage color of Coprosma repens 'Plum Hussey' in the background.




My plant, which  I purchased in a 4-inch pot, has grown to approximately 12 inches (30 cm) in height.  According to on-line sources, it should get no taller than 18-24 inches (46-61 cm), although specimens as tall as 3 feet (91 cm) have been observed.  Regular trimming is suggested to keep it from becoming leggy.

While it prefers full sun, it can take a little shade.  It needs good drainage and it can't tolerate frost.  Hailing from the eastern areas of South Africa, it's suited to USDA zones 10-12.

Senecio fulgens is my favorite plant of the week.  Please visit Loree at danger garden, our host for the weekly favorite plant post, to see her pick this week and to find links to other gardeners' selections.


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

13 comments:

  1. .That's definitely a great plant. I've grown them in succulent troughs and those flowers are stunning

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    1. The mystery here is that I've never come across it before. Like many succulent, it's supposed to be easy to propagate so I hope to have more in the future.

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  2. Fab plant Kris! It also looks like an Echeveria on some of your photos :)

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    1. I can see why you'd think that, but the growth habit is definitely unlike the Echeverias I have on hand.

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  3. Gorgeous. And that kalanchoe is fantastic (and the blue glow, of course!). I agree with Mark and Gaz, definitely thought echeveria at first!

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    1. That Kalanchoe seems to have become very popular in the last few years. Agave 'Blue Glow' may be my favorite succulent of all time.

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  4. That first image is just gorgeous! Such lovely flowers too, unlike many senecio flowers which are downright forgettable if not ugly.

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    1. The flower shape and color was a surprise for me, Loree. The profusion of blooms was an even bigger surprise.

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  5. Your dry garden is gorgeous. The flowers on the senecio remind me of emilia but much bigger. I feel the same way about nameless plants I've got, quite a few of them agaves...

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    1. Thanks again for the plant ID, Denise. It's amazing how many succulents sold in nurseries have no tags or, worse yet, tags that read "Assorted Succulents."

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  6. How beautiful, and it complements its companions very well. Isn't it great when plantings work out even better than you anticipate? As always, I am taken by the colors and variety of plants in your garden!

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    1. I generally choose succulents solely on foliage color, Deb - their flower color isn't something I generally consider as most don't produce a lot of flowers. The volume of flowers this one produces was also a surprise.

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  7. I have been trying for a couple of months to identify this plant. Thank you for giving it a name for me.
    Mine is set up in a bonsai pot and looks awesome with it's thick stems and interesting root structure.
    I love the flowers too, and finally a search for "succulent with orange flowers" gifted me with your site.
    Thank you

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