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Products > Senecio medley-woodii
Senecio medley-woodii
Image of Senecio medley-woodii
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [Caputia medley-woodii]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Senecio medley-woodii - A well branched evergreen (gray) to semi-evergreen succulent shrub to 4 to 6 feet tall and wide with thick stems covered in white felt and egg-shaped leaves that are dark green with blackish tones but covered with soft white hairs and have small soft teeth irregularly spaced along the margins. The 3/4-inch-wide daisy flowers have bright yellow rays and orange yellow disks and are held individually or with up to 3 others at the branch tips in mid-winter.

Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to very little. We had this plant in our succulent collection, and it survived with light protection through our very cold December 1990 freeze with temperatures around 20 F. It was not harmed in the January 2007 cold spell with 3 nights in a row down to 25 F but again was under tree cover, so its ultimate hardiness is not known but we think it good to short duration temperatures to 25 F. This plant is an interesting shrub that has remained evergreen for us but is noted as being drought deciduous.

Senecio medley-woodii grows naturally but not in abundance along cliff edges and granite outcrops under 2000 feet from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal north to Swaziland. The name Senecio comes from the Latin word 'senex' meaning "old" or "old man" in reference to its downy head of seeds. The specific epithet given to this plant by John Hutchinson (1884-1972) in 1923 honors South African botanist John Medley Wood (18271915) who collected and published the name for many plants found in the Natal flora.

The current treatment of this plant based on the DNA evidence shows it is only distantly related to Senecio and the species was reclassified in 2012 in an article by Bertil Nordenstam and Pieter Pelser titled "Caputia, a new genus to accommodate four succulent South African Senecioneae (Compositae) species" in Compositae Newsletter (V50: N59.). In this article the author created the new genus Caputia, making the current name of this plant Caputia medley-woodii. The genus name is a reference to the four species in this new genus all coming from around the Cape Region of South Africa. Also joining it in this new genus are two other plants we have long grown as Senecio, Senecio tomentosa (S. haworthii) and Senecio scaposus but we continue to list all of these plants as Senecio for convenience until such times as these names get better recognized. We received this plant in the 1980's from Dylan Hannon, now the curator for the conservatory at the Huntington Botanic Garden. 

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