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Products > Senecio cylindricus
Senecio cylindricus - Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Cream
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Senecio vitalis, S. talinoides ssp. cylindricus]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Senecio cylindricus (Narrow-Leaf Chalksticks) - A low growing succulent shrub to 18 to 24 inches tall and spreading to 3 to 5 feet wide with semi-prostrate stems that turn upright and are crowded at the tips with 3 to 5 inch long slender and slightly upcurved gray-green tubular leaves. The small rayless dull cream colored flowers appear in corymbs in late spring to early summer. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and irrigate little to occasionally. Hardy to 20-25F. This plant makes a great medium height ground cover with fine texture that contrasts well with broader succulent foliage. There are many great plantings of this plant in Santa Barbara, including a nice large planting under Aloe barberae and Aloe plicatilis in the northeastern corner of Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, a beautiful city park in downtown Santa Barbara. The pictures on our website are of this planting. Senecio cylindricus is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa from along the coast from Alexandria to East London and - an area that is transitional between the winter rainfall Cape Province to the west and summer rainfall received at East London and further to the northeast. As such this plant seems to thrive with summer irrigation but does well if withheld and tolerates winter rainfall if soil drains tolerably well. We continue to list this plant as Senecio cylindricus but acknowledge that it is correctly considered to be a subspecies of Senecio talinoides (with the lower growing but similar S. mandraliscae) in Gordon Rowley's treatment of Senecio in his own "Succulent Compositae" (Strawberry Press, 1994) and in Urs Eggli's "Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons" (Springer 2002). It is more often found under the name Senecio vitalis, a name originally given to it in 1906 by Nicholas Edward Brown (1849-1934) of Royal Botanic Garden, Kew but the name Kleinia (=Senecio) cylindricus given to the plant by Alwin Berger a year earlier in 1905 has precedence.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we 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 cylindricus.