Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random plant event: Senecio cephalophorus 'Blazin' Glory'

Between trying to keep up with watering the plants, propagating new plants, keeping up (poorly) with e-mail correspondence, sorting through all the orchid photos I got on Saturday,1 trying to make decisions regarding the book (which is looking increasingly like it will not be a book, but something shorter), writing the blog, and working on half a dozen small side projects of various kinds, I'm getting very close to the point of being so overwhelmed by my list of things to do that I'm unable to do any of them. Consequently, posting is going to be light for . . . a while. I don't know precisely what I mean by "light," or "a while:" time will have to tell, but I figured I should let you know this is coming, and apologize for it. In previous years, things had normalized again around mid-June, but this year may never actually settle down: if I find myself with time again, I may have to use it on writing the "book" (or whatever the hell it's going to be) instead of posting more to the blog.

Oh, and there's also a plant. I don't know much about Senecio cephalophorus 'Blazin' Glory,' except that it's a Proven Selections2 plant and the ex-job has some this year. (I think this is the first year they've had them.) The plant in the photo is just barely more than a plug;3 I'm not sure how big one can get in a single season, but I bet large quantities of 'Blazin' Glory' are impressive outdoors when they're all in bloom.

The Proven Winners website claims that 'Blazin' Glory' can be grown indoors as a houseplant. That's probably true, but I'm positive that I don't have a bright enough spot for one. (That's been a problem for other Senecios in the past, as well.)

Plant List says that the correct botanical name for this plant is Kleinia cephalophora. The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World (Fred Dortort) says that not all botanists agree about splitting some Senecios off into the genus Kleinia, and that in any case Senecio is the name most accepted in the horticultural world.


1 You'll probably see a lot of orchid posts during the next year. I got pictures of somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 different plants, and unlike last year, most of those turned out well enough that I can probably use them without too much manipulation.
By comparison to the last year of orchid show photos, Paphiopedilum fans will be pleased; Cattleya fans will be disappointed.
2The difference between a Proven Winner and a Proven Selection, according to the Proven Winners website:
Proven Selections® are regionally accepted, but not great performers in all locations.

Sometimes plants that are known to be very good, but generally available become Proven Selections®. Most gardeners are not aware there is even a difference in these two types of plants. However, this is our way of trying to focus great plants into the parts of the country where they will do their best, rather than sending them willy-nilly everywhere, which will not help gardeners succeed.

3 Many annuals are started in trays containing hundreds of small cylindrical pockets of soil and then are shipped to the retailer once they've rooted in the tray. A solidly-rooted plant will pull out of the tray along with its cylinder of soil; these small plants are called plugs. As soon as plug trays arrive, we repotted the plugs into the pots we were going to sell them in (usually 4"): potting up plugs is one of the major February and March garden center tasks.


Matti said...

Hey Mr S., sounds like your dance card is getting to capacity. Wow, and congrats. Yeah, I'm on the fence on Kleinia. Either way, always looking to try some new indoor house plants and maybe not all will be dead in a short spell. Matti

CelticRose said...

Well, I guess we can manage to live without you for a while if there's a book (or whatever) at the end of it. ;)

mr_subjunctive said...


Well, I'm not going to be entirely gone. I'm not sure how present I'm going to be either, but at the very least there will be orchid pictures about every four days, starting next week.

HydroPros said...

Glad to hear that you are writing a book! can't wait!!

Ivynettle said...

I've probably said it before and I'll say it again: Don't feel like you have to post every day. Post when you have time and something to post about - and if anyone complains, they'd better be posting every day themselves!;-)

And I love potting up plugs... OK, mostly I love the potting machine. Sadly, I won't be spending much more time there now that business picks up and I'm needed to deal with customers.

Anonymous said...

I loves me some orchid pics, bring 'em on! And also, because I'm nosy - do you ever make note of the retail prices of these things?

BTW, thanks for the Nina update - she's really grown.


mr_subjunctive said...


I know I don't have to post every day. It's just, you know, I'm still trying to establish some kind of regular pace so I'm motivated to work on things, and so people will keep coming back.

It is so unfair that you got a potting machine. We had to do it by hand. Uphill! In the snow!


Well, every time I include the prices, I get people gasping in shock at how expensive everything is, which is part of why I don't most of the time. That, and if I don't want to buy the plant myself, I don't really care what the price is and am inclined to disregard it, or not check it in the first place.

If I remember correctly, the S. cephalophorus in the post would have been $9.95.

NotSoAngryRedHead said...

Sooooooo pretty! I love the rusty bloom the best. I will have to hunt down a Senecio with a similarly colored bloom.

Ivynettle said...

Well, at least you got to create Vincaphants ;-) - with a potting machine, I don't have time for that (never mind that I lack the artistic ability anyway). And I bet you didn't malfunction as often as the machines I've worked with!

mr_subjunctive said...


Clearly you have never seen me malfunction.