Senecio articulatus f. variegated
No synonyms are recorded for this species name.
Senecio articulatus f. variegated is a nursery-produced cultivar. The species from which it’s been created, Senecio Articulatus, is instead from South Africa, where it inhabits semi-desertic environments.
Senecio articulatus f.variegatus is a colourful, odd succulent plant, a cultivar of the likewise bizarre species S. articulatus, also called hot-dog plant for its sausage-like stems. The variegated form share with its relative species the sausage stems, that tend to cluster in untidy bunches of slender, intricate stems. In cultivation, nevertheless, forms consisting in one single “sausage” are much more common. Another characteristic of the stem is that it’s segmented, namely, it is divided into sausage-shaped parts, connected by slender joints and easily detachable one from another. They are more or less thick as a finger. On the upper part of the segments, during the Winter, a little bunch of leaves is formed and another segment begins to form. The whole stem can reach 45 centimers in height: it could become much taller if kept in a shaded position and overwatered. Leaves are wonderfully tricoloured: cramy-white, violet-pink and green coexist forming attractive patterns that make this plant very decorative and perfect as a houseplant. The shape of the leaves is instead irregular, vaguely romboidal. During the dry season, they are dropped off, to be reformed again in the following Winter. The inflorescence of this plant is called, in botany, a corymb. A corymb is a cluster of flowers (raceme) in which the pedicels of the lower flowers are longer than those of the upper flowers so that the inflorescence has a flat-topped appearance overall. An example of this is the hawthorn’s inflorescence. In our Senecio articulatus f. variegated, the corymb is borne at the top of a stalk, 20 centimeters tall. Flowers are cup-shaped and not very decorative, also because they have an extremely unpleasant smell.
Senecio articulatus f. variegated is not difficult to grow. Here below are some tips:
Put it under direct sunlight or either partial shade.
Senecio articulatus f. variegated is quite cold resistant, as it can handle short frosts, with temperatures close to 0ºC, if its substrate id maintained dry. To stay safe, we suggest to cultivate it indoors but, if you choose anyway to grow outdoors, try to shelter it from Winter rains. It minimum tolarated temperature, in theory, is around 5ºC.
Senecio articulatus f. variegated is a Winter grower. Regarding watering necessities, there are actually different opinions: some suggest to water in Winter, from October to April, when leaves are present. In April, leaves turn yellow and are dropped, and the plant should stay more dry. Others, on the contrary, suggest to water regularly but scarcely, always waiting for the soil to dry up before each irrigation, all year round. Our advice is to water scarcely all year round, providing good but unfrequent waterings.
Choose a well-draining substrate with an abundant mineral part that could be made of clay or pumice, for example.
We advice to repot every year or anytime you see that the plant is outgrowing its pot.
The easiest method to propagate your Senecio articulatus f. variegated is undoubtely the cutting. Detach a “sausage-segment” in late spring-summer, let it dry for one-two weeks and then replant it in a well-drained substrate.
The name “Senecio” comes from the latin word “senex”, which means “old man”. That’s because of the tuft of white hair (pappus), sprouting off the achenes (the tiny fruits of Asteraceae, similar to seeds). The name first appeared in a writing by Pliny.
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