En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - April 19, 2008

From: Meridian, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Tentative identification of non-native Senecio rowleyanus
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am trying to track down a plant that I used to have but do not know what it is called. It grew in long strings of "pea like" balls. When planted in a hanging pot, the stringy "pea" like vines looked really cool and I would like to have one again. The one I used to have was picked clean by my then 1 year old child.

ANSWER:

This sounds very like a succulent that we have seen from time to time without knowing what it was. So, we went looking at succulents, and have found one that appears to match your description. Here is a page of images of Senecio rowleyanus; see if it matches your memory of the plant. Somewhat to our surprise, it is a member of the family Asteraceae, but when you see pictures of the flowers, you will see that they lack the ray-like florets that ordinarily appear in that family. It is sometimes called "string of beads" or "string of peas", and the round "beads" are actually leaves, adapted to conserve moisture during extreme periods of drouth. It is native to southwest Africa, and therefore a little out of the area of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America. However, many indoor container plants are non-native subtropicals, which can adapt to the conditions of indoor living. Go to this website Plants to Grow to learn about its care and culture. Many nurseries carry a selection of succulents, or possibly you could order it by mail. Hope we found the right plant!

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Failure to thrive of non-native Buddleja davidii
June 30, 2008 - I love butterfly bushes - but have bad luck growing them. I now have several, including Butterfly Nanho Purple; and they constantly wilt. It has been a dry hot Austin summer, but should I water when...
view the full question and answer

Problems with tomatoes in tubs in Campbellton, TX
May 30, 2009 - I have my tomatoes planted in big black plastic tubs, they are starting to wilt and dry up. I have put Sevin dust on them for bugs. I haven't been over watering. Could you please tell me why they are...
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native sago from Fresno CA
September 10, 2012 - I have a sago plant, fronds are hanging over into street, can the fronds themselves be trimmed back without removing the whole frond?
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Indian Banyan Tree
October 06, 2005 - I was given a Ficus benghalensis (Indian Banyan Tree) cutting, rooted in water. I need advice on how to plant it, what kind of dirt, best type of pot ie. plastic, glass, etc. The cutting is 1 foot i...
view the full question and answer

Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
July 07, 2014 - I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as seve...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center