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Products > Senecio jacobsenii
Senecio jacobsenii - Trailing Jade
Image of Senecio jacobsenii
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: Africa, East (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [Kleinia petraea, S. jacobsonii, Hort.]
Height: Prostrate
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Senecio jacobsenii (Trailing Jade) - A succulent creeping groundcover with thick succulent stems that root along the ground with green fleshy 2-3-inch-long egg-shaped leaves that overlap like shingles along the thick stems and blush an interesting purple color in winter. Never in great profusion, or with much regularity, appear the bright orange rayless composite flowers, but when they do appear it is usually in fall or winter. The flowers have that rich cheesey smell that is typical of many species of Senecio - though not really that pleasant, it is not that strong and less malodorous than some other Senecio. If planted next to a wall, or in a container, the stems drape downwards as much as 4 feet. Uniquely, the leaves and the flower stand upright from the stems.

Plant in full sun to light shade and give occasional water. Hardy to 20F (some say as low as 15F). Makes a interesting and attractive groundcover, hanging basket or window box specimen. It is a fairly easy plant to grow but resents shady cool moist conditions. In Gordon Rowley's Succulent Compositae he notes (quoting Peter Baily) that "in view of its spreading habit and its high resistance to drought [it] can be recommended for binding soil on steep banks." though Rowley also observed himself that "in succulent collections it is suitable for hanging baskets, but is rather shy blooming."

Senecio jacobsenii comes from the highlands of Tanganyika, Kenya and Tanzania and was originally described in 1909 by German botanist Reinhold (Reno) Conrad Muschler (1883-1957) as Senecio petraeus but the name, determined illegitimate by Klas Robert Elias Fries, was changed in 1928 to Notonia petraea. In 1955 Gordon D. Rowley renamed this plant in honor of Hermann Johannes Heinrich Jacobsen (1898-1978), a German horticulturist and botanist who specialized in succulent plants. This plant has also been called Kleinia petraea and Notoniopsis petraea and the correct name is still in debate today but current nomenclatural databases list it as Kleinia petraea. Because it has long been in the trade under the name Senecio jacobsenii we continue to list this species, as well as most other of the succulent plants once called Senecio, still under this older name for convenience and so not to confuse our customers or our staff. 

This information about Senecio jacobsenii displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.