Brachyglottis (Senecio)

Brachyglottis Sunshine

A large family of shrubby plants with silver-grey evergreen leaves and yellow or white flowers. They are mainly grown for their attractive foliage as the flowers can be relatively short lived.

Family: Asteraceae (daisy)
Botanical Name: Brachyglottis (bra-kee-glo-tis)
Common Names: Senecio, Shrubby Ragwort, Daisy Bush

Foliage: Evergreen or semi-evergreen, simple silver-grey leaves. Usually white or buff-felted beneath.

Flowers: Bright, daisy-like, golden yellow or white flowers.

Flowering Period: June and July.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Any pH.

Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Best grown in a south, east or west-facing aspect.

Habit: Bushy.

Type: Shrub or herbaceous perennial.

Origin: Distributed in most parts of the world.

Hardiness: Generally hardy except in very cold and wet regions.

Planting and Growing Senecio

Plant outside in late spring. Thrives in any light free-draining, moderately fertile soil, in a warm, sunny position. Shrubs require full sun, whereas herbaceous perennials prefer part shade.

Most varieties are wind and salt tolerant, making them very useful in coastal gardens. They are drought tolerant once established.

Shrubby ragworts are useful foliage plants where the silvery leaves can be used to brighten up a variety of areas.

Ideal as part of a Mediterranean style garden or as a ground-cover for a sunny well-drained site. Tall varieties can be used to make a medium height hedge.

Taking Care of Senecio

Water thoroughly during dry weather until well established. Mulch with organic matter in spring and apply a general fertilizer suitable for shrubs.

Dead head after flowering, although the fluffy seed heads can look attractive on some varieties.

Pruning Senecio

Prune every few years after flowering, to maintain size and shape. Prune hedges after flowering.

Pests and Diseases

Generally pest and disease free.

Propagating Senecio

Semi-ripe cuttings can be taken in late summer.

Popular Varieties of Senecio

Brachyglottis compacta is tender form that has very attractive white wavy edged leaves. The flowers are bright yellow.

Brachyglottis 'Drysdale' produces scallop-edged leaves with white undersides. Bears yellow, daisy-like flowers throughout summer. Available from Thompson & Morgan.

Brachyglottis greyi is a low growing form with fine yellow flowers.

Brachyglottis reinoldii is a taller form. Ideal as shelter screen in coastal regions. The flowers have an unpleasant scent. Height up to 20ft (6m).

Brachyglottis 'Sunshine' is a very popular tough and resilient variety, with fine silver foliage. Producing masses of bright yellow flowers in summer. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Senecio cineraria (silver ragwort) is a tender related form (now reclassified as Jacobaea maritima), which is often grown as an annual bedding plant. It has pretty felted silver foliage but the flowers are quite insignificant. The cultivar 'Silver Dust' is a popular bedding form.

Senecio candidans Angel Wings (PBR) is a semi-hardy, clump-forming, evergreen perennial with large, rounded, velvety silver leaves. Clusters of small, yellow flowers in summer. Height to 16in (40cm). In cold wet regions grow it in a container and move to a protected position in winter. Available from Thompson & Morgan.