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 Weather Station

Products > Senecio anteuphorbium
Senecio anteuphorbium - Swizzle Sticks

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: Morocco (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Kleinia antheuphorbium, Cacalia antheuphorbium]
Height: 3-5 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Senecio anteuphorbium (Swizzle Sticks) - A summer dormant deciduous shrub that has a generally upright growth habit to 3 to 5 feet tall with long arching pale gray green segmented round stems striated with darker longitudinal lines and small gray-green lanceolate leaves that lie appressed along the stems near the branch tips. In fall appear the very rayless flowers that have white disk flowers with yellow stigmas and anthers. Although not particularly showy in bloom the flowers lightly sweet fragrance is a pleasant surprise given the usually fetid smelling flowers of other succulent Senecio species. This plant comes from North and Northeast Africa from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula. Plant in full sun to light shade and give little to no irrigation but with occasional summer irrigation will hold the leaves on the stems which otherwise fall off. Though often listed for frost free gardens this plant has proven stem hardy to 25° F during our January 2007 freeze. Makes an interesting and wild plant in the garden or in a large pot. Trim out low horizontal stems as needed to show off the more upright ones. In the 1928 "Standard Cyclopedia of American Horticulture" by L.H Bailey this plant is described as being one of the earliest of the "Cape plants" to be cultivated in Europe, with plantings dated around 1570, and that the name "anteuphorbium", or Ante-euphorbium as it was commonly called, was in reference to its being "a reputed antidote against the acrid poison of the Cape Euphorbia [E. officinarum]". Gordon Rowley in “Succulent Compositae” notes that he could “find no scientific evidence to support its supposed beneficial properties. Although this plant did not come from the Cape region its early cultivation and derivation of the name is interesting. This plant is often listed under the name Kleinia antheuphorbium and sometimes as Cacalia antheuphorbium. We use Senecio here following G.D. Rowley's treatment combining Kleinia and Notonia into Senecio as published in the "Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plant: Dicotyledons" by Urs Eggli, Springer 2002. We have grown this great succulent plant since 2007 and thank Paul Hallam for sharing this plant to us in 2005.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Senecio anteuphorbium.