Kleinia fulgens Hook.f.

Family: Asteraceae Tribe: Senecioneae
Common name:
Coral senecio

Kleinia fulgens

This is a stunning, grey-leafed plant with a profusion of scarlet flowers. It is ideal for hot, dry spots in the garden.

Kleinia fulgensThe coral senecio is a succulent which occurs in hot, dry areas of KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The genus is named after the German zoologist, Dr Klein (1685-1759). The species name, fulgens, means shining and refers to the vibrant, scarlet colour of the flowers.

The plant grows to a height of about 600 mm and is ideal for planting in rockeries or other dry, sunny spots, as the scarlet flower heads add a splash of colour in mid-winter. The succulent leaves, which are an attractive grey/green with purpling on the underside, give the plant year-round appeal and add a pleasing contrast when planted amongst short grasses or spring flowering bulbs. The plant has a creeping, tuberous rootstock. Where it grows naturally, it is browsed by animals.

Growing Kleinia fulgens


The plant can be propagated easily from seed, stem cuttings and leaf cuttings.

Seed: Sow fresh seed in seedtrays containing a very well-drained potting mixture such as 50% fine milled pine bark and 50% sharp sand. Cover the seed lightly and water carefully.

Rooted leaf cuttingStem cuttings: using a sharp knife, remove a section of mature stem. This can be rooted as is or it can be cut up into 15 mm sections. The pieces should be left to dry for 2 to 3 days before planting . The cuttings are then placed in a container of sharp river sand and kept in an airy, sunny position. Care must be taken not to over-water the cuttings-they are best kept on the dry side. Repot when sufficient roots have formed.

Leaf cuttings: mature leaves are removed from the parent plant using a sharp knife, allowed to dry for 2 to 3 days and planted in a container of sharp river sand. It is best to insert the leaf at an angle with about 1/3 in the rooting medium. Treat as for cuttings. It should take 6 to 8 weeks for a new plant to appear.

References

POOLEY, E. 1998. A field guide to the wild flowers of KwaZulu-Natal. Natal Flora Publication Trust, Durban.
LEISTNER, O.A. 2000. Seed plants of southern Africa. Strelitzia 10. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.


Brian Tarr
Natal National Botanical Garden
September 2002


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