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Products > Roldana petasitis
Roldana petasitis - Velvet Groundsel

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Senecio petasitis, S. petasites]
Height: 8-10 feet
Width: 8-10 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Roldana petasitis (Velvet Groundsel) - The Velvet Groundsel is a large sprawling evergreen shrub that can grow to 8 to 10 feet tall and the same width with large (8 wide and long) roundish, velvety bright green leaves. In winter to early spring appear the branched inflorescence of deep burgundy colored flower buds that open to display hundreds of bright yellow daisy flowers. Roldana plant tolerates a wide range of soils and irrigation practices and although drought resistant, plants look best with occasional irrigation. It prefers to be planted in full sun in wind sheltered coastal gardens as leaves are torn by wind and they will droop in high temperatures but also grows well in shade where leaves get larger but it tends not to as much flower; hardy to the mid 20s F but can freeze to the ground and resprout after even colder temperatures. With its bold large foliage it lends a tropical look in the garden without the accompanying high water requirements. Best treated as a large shrubby perennial, and looks much better if it is cut back hard after flowering. Roldana petasitis is a shrubby member of the Groundsel group of the daisy family (Asteraceae) from the mountainous areas of Oaxaca of Mexico and is most commonly known and referred to as Senecio petasitis but is has been reclassified as Roldana petasitis. It has also been known as Cineraria petasitis and sometimes is referred to as the California Geranium. The name Roldana was published by Dr. Pablo de La Llave (1773 – 1833), a Mexican priest and naturalist, in 1925 to honor Eugenio Montaña y Roldan Otumbensi, who was thought to be a hero in a battle on the plains of Apam near Mexico City. We also grow a similar plant that has red petioles and larger leaves that is called Roldana oaxacana (AKA Senecio cristobalensis).  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Roldana petasitis.