Senecio macroglossus variegata Seeds
Common Names: Flowering Ivy, Madeliefie-klimop, Cape Ivy, Natal Ivy
At first glance, Senecio macroglossus looks like a kind of ivy, but on closer inspection, the bright yellow daisy flowers amongst the foliage make it clear that it bears no real relationship to ivy whatsoever. Senecio macroglossus belongs in the Asteraceae (daisy family) whereas ivy, Hedera helix, belongs in the Araliaceae (ivy family), along with Cussonia species, the cabbage trees, and Schefflera.
Flowering ivy is an evergreen slender, twining but not tendril-climbing herbaceous perennial. It has smooth, thin, flexible branches bearing triangular or five-pointed ivy-like foliage. When creeping along the ground, the branches sometimes develop roots at the nodes. The leaves are a bright glossy green and are somewhat succulent. When broken, both the leaves and stems release a fresh lemony scent. Large, conspicuous pale yellow daisy flowers are borne just about all year round, but mainly during the summer months. They remain open on cloudy or dull days, and are visited by bees, moths and wasps. The seeds are small and stick-like with a tuft of greyish-white bristles at one end.
Senecio macroglossus does well in sun or shade. It requires a neutral to slightly alkaline loamy soil that is well-drained. It grows best in fertile soil to which well-rotted compost is added regularly as a mulch, and it responds fast to foliar feeding. Senecio macroglossus is not hardy to frost although established plants in a protected position should be able to survive the odd cold snap to -1oC / 30oF but it is best suited to frost free gardens (zone 11 above 4oC / 40oF). It is very drought and heat tolerant.
Flowering ivy makes an excellent hanging basket subject. It is also a good trellis plant against a wall, even a west-facing wall, and is suitable for balconies and roof gardens where it will grow nearly 3m downwards if allowed to hang, or upwards if encouraged to climb up a trellis. It can also be used as a ground cover and is suitable for indoor cultivation. It mixes well with Aloe ciliaris and other climbing aloes where they can be grown together on a wire fence to create a living fence.
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