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Products > Senecio haworthii
Senecio haworthii - Woolly Senecio

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [Kleinia haworthii, Cacalia tomenosa]
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Senecio haworthii (Woolly Senecio) A perennial succulent dwarf shrub to under 1 foot tall with stunningly attractive upright cylindrical succulent leaves that are pure white due to the fine white hairs covering all surfaces of the leaves. This plant is known to produce bright yellow flowers on a short terminal inflorescence but we have never seen this species flower in cultivation. Plant in full sun in an open airy location with well-drained soil and water sparingly, allowing soil to dry between watering - it is an easy plant to rot if given too much water or shade. Best not wet the foliage and to be kept drier in winter months. Cold hardy to at least 22 F. Probably one of the most beautiful of the succulent Senecio that can be grown in a well-drained soil or mounded planting or as a very attractive container plant - great in a terra cotta pot as this shows the foliage well and allows soil to dry. This plant is known from only a few localities in the rugged Little Karoo desert of South Africa between 3000-4000 feet in elevation, where it is considered to be threatened. Though discovered and circulating unnamed at least as early as 1795, this plant was originally described by Adrian Hardy Haworth (for whom the genus Haworthia is named) in his Miscellanea Naturalia: Sive Dissertattiones Variae Ad Historiam Naturalem Spectantes in 1803 from a plant he had received from his friend Benjamin Robertson who had a private botanic garden at Stockwell in south west London, England. Haworth placed this plant in the genus Cacalia (Latin for "plant" or "colt's foot") and gave it the specific epithet "tomentosa" for the white hairy leaves. When this plant was merged into Senecio by the German physician and botanist Carl Heinrich 'Bipontinus' Schultz in 1845 (the name Bipontinus being a Latinized reference to his birthplace to distinguish him from another German botanist of the same name) Schultz changed the specific epithet to "haworthii" in honor of Haworth. The name Senecio comes from the Latin word 'senex' meaning "old" or "old man" in reference to its downy head of seeds. This plant is also sometimes called the Cocoon Plant as the shape and color of the leaves resembles a moth's cocoon.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Senecio haworthii.