Senecio is a genus of of flowering plants in family Asteraceae, comprising over 1500 species. It is one of the largest genera of flowering plants containing species of varied forms, including leaf, stem and tuber succulents, annuals, perennials, aquatics, climbers, shrubs and small trees, ragworts and groundsels. Some species produce natural biocides (especially alkoloids) to deter or kill animals that would eat them. Most widely grown are subshrubs and perennials that have silver-grey or blue-grey foliage and are often used in summer bedding or at the front of mixed borders. Although they produce flowers in summer, many people prefer to remove the flowering stems in spring so that all the plants' energies go into the foliage.
Senecio cineraria (Dusty Miller, Silver Ragwort), 60 cm high and across, is a native perennial of the Mediterranean and widely cultivated as an annual for its silver, felt-like leaves. It shares the same common name Dusty Miller with other plants that also have silvery foliage, such as Centaurea cineraria and Lychnis coronaria. Senecio cineraria has oval, deeply lobed , silver grey leaves of up to 15 cm long. It bears loose clusters of yellow flowers in summer. If you allow the flowers to bloom, deadhead after flowering.
Senecio barbertonicus (Barberton Groundsel, Succulent Bush Senecio), 2 meter high and across, is an evergreen succulent shrub native to Southern Africa. It is named after one of its native localities in Barberton, a town in Mpumalanga province of South Africa. This species is drought resistance, bearing clusters of sweetly scented, golden yellow, tufted flower heads in July through September. The flowers attract butterflies especially Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterfly.
Plant Senecio in sun and in well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed in spring; semi-ripe cuttings in late summer. Rust is the fungi disease that attacks the plant.