Monday, December 7, 2009

Late Bloomer


Senecio achillaefolius is perhaps the latest blooming outdoor plant I grow. It comes from the Drakensberg in South Africa, and is a fairly rambuctious grower. It grows about a foot or so high and roots along the ground as it spreads outwards. I coddled it by a brick wall its first couple of years but now its present in a few patches in the school slope garden, where some of the patches have weathered the unwelcome attention of non-staff "landscapers" in late August who tore out a few plants they thought were weeds (they now know not to touch/worry about my gardens, they are well taken care of by yours truly, even during summer vacation!), the sewer problem in Sept that necessitated a large hose being drug up from a truck through the middle of the slope garden to drain the sewer that lies beneath two metal plates above the garden (who knew, it certainly was news to me what nasty underworld lurked under those gates to hell) and the sudden construction of a sidewalk to replace the dirt path that was located in the same area as the sewer in November. Lucky this senecio is one tough plant!
As December begins, it begins its yearly show of bright yellow daisies, which are very frost resistant. They will provide color until the temps get below 20F or so, though I imagine this species would put on a much more spectacular flower show in areas with warmer winters like the Carolinas. Here is is a plant of interest for its late flowering, but not one for a small garden as it does like room and is unlikely to get much blooming in before winter finally overtakes it. Now, if someone could find a clone that starts flowering in summer, that would be something special!

1 comment:

Acantholimon said...

Looks suspiciously like Senecio seminiveus, which is an abundant and gorgeous high alpine all over the Drakensberg...we grow it too: it's really delightful. Although usually a more silver color: your curly foliage and simple yellow flowers look right...