10 Senecio Plant Varieties with Pictures | Types of Senecio Succulents
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Senecio Plants are flowering plants in the daisy family, Asteraceae, mostly native to Africa with interesting leaf shapes and colors as an adaptation to dry conditions.
There are about 1200 species in the Senecio genus of which about 100 species are succulent plants.
The plants vary a lot in structure and growth habits. They may be annuals, biennials, perennials, climbers, shrubs and so on.
The flowers in Senecio Varieties are clusters of daisy-like flowers with ray florets arranged in a circle and may be white, yellow, pink, purple or any color in-between.
The genus name, 'Senecio', is Latin for 'Old Man', in reference to the hairy structures on the seeds.
Recently some 20 Senecio species have been seperated to the Curio genus based on their similarities. Curio is Latin for 'Curious'.
Some of the Senecio plants placed in the Curio genus include String of Lemons Plant, String of Tears, String of Beads, Blue Chalksticks Plant among others.
It is important to note that Senecio Plants are considered toxic to both humans and pets.
According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Senecio plants contain Pyrrolizidine alkaloids which if is ingested, can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.
Contact with the plant sap may cause skin irritation or skin rash in sensitive skin. Therefore, always wear gloves when handling these plants and keep them away from the reach of children and pets.
Senecio varieties are easy to grow indoors if provided with the right growing conditions. Generally, these plants require bright light with some direct sunlight, well-drained and moderately moist soil, and average warmth.
Different Types of Senecio Plants for Indoors
We have herebelow listed some Senecio varieties for growing indoors with pictures and care guides.
1. German Ivy (Senecio mikanioides)
German Ivy also called Cape Ivy or Parlour Ivy is not a True Ivy. It is more vigorous and is less affected by warm and dry conditions than a true ivy.
The leaf lobes in German Ivy are fleshier and generally more pointed and the leaves have several pointed lobes.
The stems of the German Ivy either trail like in a hanging basket or are trained up canes or trellis. Learn more on how to grow and care for German Ivy (Senecio mikanioides).
2. Scrambling Groundsel (Senecio angulatus)
Scrambling Groundsel also called Climbing Groundsel, Creeping Groundsel or Algerian Senecio is an easy-care, scrambling and twining, succulent, shrubby plant ideal for a hanging basket.
The leaf lobes are fleshy, glossy green, pointed, coarsely-toothed with 3-5 teeth oneach side. The leaves are alternately arranged and about 8 in. long by 5.5 in. wide. Read more on how to grow and care for Scrambling Groundsel (Senecio angulatus).
3. Barberton Groundsel (Senecio barbertonicus)
Barberton Groundsel also called Succulent Bush Senecio or Barberton Senecio is perennial, succulent plant densely packed with lime-green, finger-like fleshy leaves on fleshy stems.
The leaves are about 2-4 in. long and lie parallel to the fleshy stem and point upwards. The inflorescence is a cluster of tufted terminal flowerheads of golden-yellow, tubular-shaped and sweetly scented flowers. Read on how to grow and care for Barberton Groundsel (Senecio barbertonicus).
4. Mountain Fire Senecio (Senecio cephalophorus)
Mountain Fire Senecio is a compact plant which bears a rosette of paddle-shaped, grey-green leaves on branching stems.
The bloom is a large head of dark orange inflorescence borne above the foliage on a long stalk. The species name, 'cephalophorus', is Latin for 'head-bearing', in reference to the inflorescence.
Mountain Fire Senecio grows to a height of 1.5-2 ft by 1 ft wide in about 4-6 years. The plant quickly forms offsets which can be used to grow new plants. Learn more on how to grow and care for Mountain Fire Senecio (Senecio cephalophorus).
5. String of Lemons Plant (Senecio citriformis)
String of Lemons Plant also called String of Tears Plant or String of Teardrops Plant bears erect stems on which oval, teardrop-shaped or lemon-shaped leaves grow.
The leaves in String of Lemons Plant are green to dark-green with translucent longitudinal stripes (windows).
Each leaf in String of Lemons Plant bears the translucent windows that run the length of the leaf and allows light to reach into interior of the leaf where photosynthesis takes place. Learn how to grow and care for String of Lemons Plant (senecio citriformis.
6. String of Watermelons Plant (Senecio herreanus)
String of Watermelons Plant is also called String of Raindrops Plant or Gooseberryplant and bears pendant thread-like stems on which succulent oval-shaped leaves grow.
The leaves in String of Watermelons Plant are dark-green with purple stripes and resemble the rind of the watermelon fruit and hence the common name, 'String of Watermelons'. Read more on how to grow and care for String of Watermelons Plant (Senecio herreanus).
7. String of Dolphins Plant (Senecio peregrinus)
String of Dolphins Plant also called Dolphin Necklace, Flying Dolphins or Dolphin Plant bears pendant thread-like stems on which curvy leaves with two small points grow.
The leaves in String of Dolphins Plant look like a pod of flying or jumping dolphins and hence the common name "String of Dolphins".
The odd shaped leaves is an adaptation to arid conditions and allows for the storage of water while exposing minimum surface area to the dry desert air which greatly reduces water loss. Learn more on how to grow and care for String of Dolphins Plant (Senecio peregrinus).
8. String of Bananas Plant (Senecio radicans)
String of Bananas Plant also called String of Fishhooks Plant or Fishhooks Senecio is a unique houseplant which bears pendant thread-like stems on which are tiny leaves shaped like small green bananas.
The odd shaped leaves in String of Bananas Plant is an adaptation to arid conditions and allows for the storage of water while exposing minimum surface area to the dry desert air which greatly reduces water loss. Read more on how to grow and care for String of Bananas Plant (Senecio radicans).
9. String of Beads Plant (Senecio rowleyanus)
String of Beads Plant or String of Pearls Plant is a unique houseplant which bears pendant thread-like stems on which spherical green leaves grow and it resembles a neck-lace of beads or pearls.
String of Beads Plant (Curio rowleyanus) is a creeping, perennial, succulent vine native to the drier parts of Southwest Africa where it grows in the shaded conditions under other plants and rocks. Learn how to grow and care for String of Beads Plant (Senecio rowleyanus).
10. Blue Chalksticks Plant (Senecio repens)
Blue Chalksticks Plant or Dead Man's Fingers is a low-growing plant which bears fleshy, cylindrical, powdery, blue-green leaves on a prostrate stem.
The genus name, 'repens' means creeping which is in reference to the creeping growth habit of the plant. The stem starts off erect then lies prostrate and roots at the nodes as it grows. Read more on how to grow and care for Blue Chalksticks Plant (Senecio repens).