COMPOSITAE

Although this is a very large family of plants, only 3 genera are of interest to growers of succulents. They are Kleinia, Othonna, and Senecio. All require plenty of light and fresh air and during winter a very sparing supply of water, for most species are at rest and moisture at this time of year will easily cause rot. A suitable compost in which to grow these plants is 1 part loam, 2 parts leaf-mould, and 1 part sharp sand.

KLEINIA. Some species are distinguished by bright flowers and white-grey leaves, whilst others are attractive because of their fleshy, glaucous or grey leaves. They are natives of S. Africa, the Canary Islands and Indonesia.

Kleinia acaulis. Cape Province. Has short stems, 2 to 3 inches high, almost cylindrical, pointed, with stalked, greyish-green leaves, about 3 to 6 inches long. The flowers are yellowish.

Kleinia articulata. Cape Colony. Its popular name is the “candle plant”. The stems are fairly erect, with short joints, varying from I to 6 inches in length. These are readily propagated. An easy growing species.

Kleinia gomphophylla. SW. Africa. An interesting plant forming clumps, the branches creeping. The leaves resemble berries, with a spiny tip, and are green with translucent lines. The plant requires a position in full light, with only a moderate amount of water in the growing season.

Kleinia neriifolia. Canary Islands. Has an erect stem and branches of about half an inch in thickness. The grey-green leaves appear in a rosette at the ends of the young stems; they are elliptical, with a short tip.

Kleinia tomentosa. Cape Province. A very lovely plant of white appearance, due to the heavy covering of white felt. Grows up to 12 inches in height. It requires careful attention in winter, but can be frequently watered in the summer growing season.

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