Senecio bupleuroides

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Botanical Name
Senecio bupleuroides
Asteraceae - The daisy family.
sen-ek-ee-o boo-plee-er-OY-deez
Common Name(s)
IsiXhosa: Idwarane
IsiZulu: Indabula-luvalo; Insangansanga Yentaba; Isiqandamatshana; Unsonkonsoko
Sesotho: Lehlongoana ; Lereko
siSwati: indabula-luvalo; insangansanga yentaba; isiqandamatshana; unsonkonsoko
Plant Group
  • Shrub A woody plant of relatively low height, having several stems arising from the base and lacking a single trunk; a bush.
Plant Size
  • Small to Medium
    Tree8m to 15m
    Shrub75cm to 1m
    Perennial/ground cover20cm to 40cm
    Bulb30cm to 40cm
    Succulent20cm to 40cm
  • Light or Dappled Shade Found below trees with sparse, open foliage. Ideal for the protection of herbaceous plants.
  • Partial Shade The area is in shade for part of the day and in full sun for part of the day.
  • Sun The area is in full sun for all or most of the day, all year round.
General Information
  • Deciduous Plants which completely lose their foliage for part of the year.
  • Drought Tolerance: High The plant is well adapted to arid conditions; it can survive long periods of drought and high temperatures without extra water.
  • Frost: Half-hardy The plant is able to survive low temperatures and some frost but requires protection against severe frost.
  • Prune hard after flowering Fast growing shrubs that grow lanky within a season. Cut off branches and stems of these plants to a third of their original length. This will increase the yield of flowers, improve the plants shape and enhance the structural strength of main branches.
  • Sand tolerant Plants adapted to survive in nutrient poor, very sandy soils.
  • Water Wise Plant species originating from low rainfall regions that require less water to survive and thrive than other plant species.
  • Wind Tolerant Plants able to withstand the effect of strong winds.
Specific Information

Senecio bupleuroides is an erect shrub with slender, ribbed, rigid stems. Leaves are dark green and narrow, ending in long points, toothless or lightly toothed and up to 18 cm long x 1 cm wide. Flower stems are branched. In spring this plant is often a dominant part of the landscape along the coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Often considered a weed, it seeds freely and germinates aggressively, covering disturbed farmland and roadsides in a blanket of blooms.

There have been (unconfirmed) reports that Senecio bupleuroides may be poisonous to stock.

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clusters of small daisy flowers on branched flower-stems

  • Spring to Summer Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • yellow
Growth Rate
  • Very Fast Specifying growth rate can be very misleading as there is considerable variation of growth rate depending on type and species of plant, available water, supplementary feeding, mulching and general care, as well as the plants suitability and adaptability to the garden environment.
Plant Uses
  • Attracts bees, butterflies or other insects This plant attracts insects which can be food for birds or other creatures in your garden.
  • Pioneer for new gardens A very fast growing plant, able to withstand hardship, that can be used to populate land that has recently been cleared of natural vegetation. These plants pave the way for slower-growing species by adding nutrients to the soil and creating leaf litter.
  • Suitable for coastal gardens Plants adapted to dry, sandy soil, forceful wind, limited rainfall and intense sunlight.
  • Wild Garden An indigenous garden planted for the benefit of wildlife and birds. Provides food, water, a variety of mini-biomes and no poisonous chemicals are used.
Distribution and Habitat

in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga as well as Swaziland, in coastal grasslands, thorn veld and disturbed places, in almost any well-drained soil

Planting Suggestions

Although Senecio bupleuroides has the potential to become invasive, it has some use in new gardens as a pioneer, where this fast growing shrub will provide colour as well as shade for slower growing species. It will thrive in most soils and demand little attention, other than the removal of flower-heads before they have a chance to seed. The root system is small making the plant very easy to remove once it has served its purpose. It is a short-lived plant, often dying off at the end of the season but I have seen specimens of about 3 - 4 years old with well developed central 'trunks'. It is useful to tip back during its early growing period to encourage bushier growth.

Lorraine's Garden Notes

I have eradicated most of this invasive plant from my garden but allow a few to flower each year. However I make sure that I pull the plants out as soon as they show signs of seeding.

Medicinal Uses

Senecio bupleuroides is used medicinally for chest and heart complaints and for easy childbirth.

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