Far Out Flora

Simply Senecio

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Operation Herreanus Hunt – complete!

Senecio herreanus, located and documented.

Senecio herreanus, located and documented.

For months now, I have been keeping an open eye for this amazing succulent, Senecio herreanus.  The hunt ended 8 day ago while attending the SF Succulent & Cactus Society (SFSCS) meeting. SFSCS features a different Guest Grower each month.  They typically sell hard to find plants, and sometimes offer hybrids they have been developing.

Senecio herreanus is an evergreen perennial native to Southwestern.  Also known as “String of Beads” or “Gooseberry Plant”, it is an easy to grow indoor houseplant, or outside if you are Zone 9-12.  With garbanzo bean sized, globular succulent leaves, it is similar in appearance to the Senecio rowleyanus.

Senecio rowleyanus, still going strong in our front window.  It is a close cousin to S. herreanus...but with smaller leaves.

Senecio rowleyanus, still going strong in our front window. It is a close cousin to S. herreanus...but with smaller leaves.

We want to give a shout out to Hans Herre (1895-1979) German botanist for which this plant species is named.

Here are some stats so you can have success growing your own.
Water: IBT (Infrequent but through).  Sun: Light to Part Shade.   Soil: Well drained soil.  Growth rate: 6” H x 24-48” L vines.  Zones: 9-12.  Hardy to: 45°F

The plant table was a frenzy, but we did manage to snag two plants.  BTW, that is one of Matti's cow paintings in the background.

The plant table was a frenzy, but we did manage to snag two plants. BTW, that is one of Matti's cow paintings in the background.

Foliage: Can be variegated, crimson in color with smooth textured, fleshy leaves.  Stronger light will cause less spacing between leave nodes making the plant more compact.  Flowers: Small white, non showy, having a strong cinnamon smell.  Landscape Uses: Grown for its cascading foliage.  Hanging baskets, ground cover.  Pests: Fungus, aphids, mealy bugs, and cochineals.

Propagation: From herbaceous stem cuttings.  A single leaf will root and form a small plant at the base, however using 4 nodes is more reliable.  Where the nodes touch the soil, new roots will form.  Propagate them in evenly moist soil, mist occasionally, and keep in filtered sunlight until they are growing.

I have placed a side by side of the Senecio herreanus  (one the left) and Senecio rowleyanus (hanging on the right) below.  S. herreanus has on average 4 times the diameter spherical leaves as the S. rowleyanus.  Photo taken at night.

Senecio herreanus side by side to Senecio rowleyanus.

Senecio herreanus (left side), Senecio rowleyans (right side)

–Matti and Megan Far Out Flora

9 Comments

  1. I am confused between the 2 senecios. I can’t tell them apart. Do you know the difference?

    • Hello Evelyn, I added an additional photos to the end of that post. Please refresh and you can see them side by side. One large difference is the size of their leaves, S. herreanus has on average 4 times the diameter, and a little more pointed apex. Hope this clears it up. Matti

  2. Hi,
    Nice catch. I love both these plants for two reasons. They are easy to care for and especially because their leaves have windows. A really neat botanical feature. Kitty

  3. Thanks Matti – I do like the big ones too. Must keep an eye out!

  4. Pingback: Happy House Plants « Far Out Flora's Blog

  5. Hi, I just bought a Senecio herreanus today and I am thrilled to finally have one. My question is that the one I bought is quite long and full and I would like to transplant it in a pot that is a bit larger and that will allow it to hang.

    How can I transplant it without loosing too many “beads?. It seems quite fragile. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Diane.

    • They are very fragile. A couple weeks ago I accidentally broke off a couple pieces when watering ours, but the good news is I jammed them back in the dirt and they’re just fine. We put one of the two plant we bought outside, and the outdoor guy is not very happy. Enjoy your cool new plant!

  6. Where can I buy Senecio Rowleyanus in San Francisco, Berkeley, or Oakland?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    Sydney

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