Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mexican Flame Vine

Senecio (say cen-EH-see-O) is a very diverse genus.   You know Dusty Miller(Senecio cineraria) and String Of Pearls(Senecio rowleyanus), right? The look TOTALLY different!!! Dusty Miller has gray foliage and is mostly grown as a bedding plant accent or border. String of Pearls is a hanging succulent!  Just goes to show that they classify plants by their flowers and not their foliage or habit. 
  
Beginning of the flower 

 Here is a wonderful plant that I'm so glad I was finally able to find, Senecio confusus - Mexican Flame Vine, Orange Glow Vine or Mexican Love Vine. Common names vary everywhere.  They actually changed the name of this plant to Pseudogynoxys chenopoides.  That is a BIG mouthful! So, it's not even a Senecio any more.  I'd rather call it by the old name. It's much more fun.  
 I love orange flowers and I saw this plant in my friend Loren's garden. He has a huge garden and lots of cool plants. You may remember me mentioning him here before :-)  I went right away to search online and ordered it from Almost Eden Plants just this past April since I've never seen it in any local nursery.  It is said to like full sun to part shade and moderate water. Height may vary from 10-20'. And it blooms through the warm season. That could be March-Nov for us here in SoCal!  It is a tropical plant and only grows in zones 9 - 11 so it won't tolerate a hard frost. It's native to Mexico, Central America and the West Indies and is attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. 

Middle of the flower lifespan
Since mine is still young, every time I see a flower cluster I get happy! 



3' tall a couple weeks ago before new trellis

Nearing the end of color on the flowers


Seed clusters looks like they do on String of Pearls. 

Today with extra trellis action.  4'







































I'm sure it will need a taller trellis, stakes or wires soon.  But look what you can do with a couple bamboo stakes and a few zipties!  Research says it roots easily in water.  I'll have to try that.  It is also said the cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. Just what I need with my stupid every-bug-loves-me allergic skin. I'll have to be careful.   

I  have it growing on the east side of a hot fence.  I look forward to it getting to the top.   Do you grow this plant?   

Happy Gardening! 


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