Senecio candicans 'Senaw' (PP28,830)


For those of us familiar with the feathery, strikingly silver foliage of dusty millers, or Jacobaea maritima, this is not it! Please take a look at this coarse-textured relative, Senecio candicans 'Senaw' (PP28,830). Confused? I would not blame you. One of the most commonly found silver foliage species found in nurseries is Senecio cineraria, also known as dusty miller. However, S. cineraria has indeed changed names, and when that occurs, it takes a long time for nurseries (and designers alike) to accept the change. While Senecio cineraria is now Jacobaea maritima, it is unclear if our winged angel will be subject to the same revision.


I have little personal information to share about this species, as this is the first time I encountered it and adopted a specimen for my garden. Like its sibling dusty miller, Angel Wings® Senecio is great for container gardens, apparently maxing out at no more then two fee high and wide. Both species are grown for their foliage, which contrasts wonderfully with other plants, however they both bloom with yellow flowers that may or may not be desirable. When I have grown dusty miller, I would cut off the flowers to promote more dense foliage. Due to their foliage color, designers might use these in night gardens, or what others refer to as moon gardens. Paired with purple, black or dark green foliage would make a statement on its own!


The specimen shown above was planted adjacent to our native Asclepias californica, which has a long dormancy. Since the Asclepias has gray foliage, the idea is to use our angel as a filler, and the combination in summer should also be attractive. I will add a photo of the combination should this planting scheme work. Currently, as it is late spring, the Asclepias is just barely coming out of its slumber.



If the above two species are not confusing enough, take a look at this North Carolina State University presentation by Laura Barth introducing viewers to a broader spectrum. Many will grow here in California, depending on where the plant will be located, other outdoors or indoors/protected area.



 

facts


Botanical Name: Senecio candicans 'Senaw' (PP28,830)

Senecio: Latin, senex, for old man for the bristles surrounding the white fruit (I can identify). However, we should take a look at a lengthier description of this particular plant's name referenced by San Marcos Growers for a little more context.

Candicans: White

Common Name: Angel Wings® Senecio

Family Name: Asteraceae


Origin: Chile


design considerations


Positioning: Foreground

Garden Themes: Cottage, rock, Mediterranean/dry

Uses: Border, specimen, accent, mass, edging


identifying characteristics


Type: Herbaceous perennial

Form: Round, mound

Texture: Coarse

Size: 18" tall and 18" wide


Outstanding Feature(s): Foliage


Stem: Silver becoming dull gray with age, fleshy

Leaf:

  • Type: Simple

  • Arrangement: Rosulate

  • Shape: Cordate

  • Margin: Serrate

  • Color: Silver gray, white

  • Surface: Tomentose

Flower: Unremarkable yellow clusters, appearing as the center of a daisy without ray petals

Fruit: Gray achene, usually removed before maturing


cultural requirements, tolerances & problems


Sunset Zones: 4-24

USDA Zones: 8-11


Light: Sun to partial shade

WUCOLS SF Bay Area Hydro Zone: Not listed, however, low water use

Soil:

  • Texture: Sand, loam

  • Moisture Retention: Dry between watering, well-drained

  • pH: Unknown at time of posting

Tolerances: Drought, salt, wind

Problems: North Carolina State University Extension notes problem for dogs, cats, and horses but does not state reasoning. The video above mentions the plants toxicity. Slugs, snails

  • Branch Strength: Pliable when young

  • Insects: Unknown at time of posting

  • Disease: Rust


citations & attributions


Bayton, R. (2019). The Royal Horticultural Society's the Gardener's Botanical: An Encyclopedia of Latin Plant Names. London: Mitchell Beazley.


Extension Gardener: "Senecio candicans 'Angel Wings'." North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Accessed on April 25, 2022, from https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/senecio-candicans-angel-wings/.


Photos:

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