Senecio tamoides

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Senecio tamoides
Senecio tamoides5.png
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Senecio
S. tamoides
Binomial name
Senecio tamoides
DC. (1838) [1] [2]

Senecio tamoides, also known as Canary creeper, [3] is a climbing member of the genus Senecio of the family Asteraceae that is native to Southern Africa. [4] It is used as an ornamental plant for its showy yellow, daisy-like flowers in autumn. [5]



Grapevine-like leaves Senecio tamoides9.jpg
Grapevine-like leaves

It is a fast-growing, scrambling [6] mostly evergreen [7] perennial climber with semi-succulent stems and leaves [6] that creeps along the ground or climbs several meters into the trees to reach the sunlit canopy where it can flower. [4] [8] It grows up to a height of 2 metres (6.6 ft) to 4 metres (13 ft) tall, though it can be as much as 10 metres (33 ft) tall in the right conditions. [6] [9]

In Australia, Senecio tamoides has been misapplied and is usually considered to be Senecio angulatus since the two species bear a striking resemblance, though S. tamoides has leaves that are comparatively softer, more ivy-like, less glossier, more toothed and less succulent. [10]

Stems and leaves

Its stems are slender, 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 4 centimetres (1.6 in) in diameter, usually purplish, semi-succulent and hairless that have a clear and sticky exudate. [11]

Leaves are bright green, palmately lobed with venation, shaped like many ivy [7] with broad, oval and fleshy surfaces, 4 centimetres (1.6 in) long and 7 centimetres (2.8 in) wide, coarsely toothed edges, leaf stalks 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long. [6]


Close up of flowers Senecio tamoides flowers.jpg
Close up of flowers

Its inflorescence is many-headed, [6] bright yellow, [7] and the flowering spike grows to have a flat top. The flower heads are cylindrical, about 3 millimetres (0.12 in) in diameter; surrounded with a whorl of five to seven bracts, 6 millimetres (0.24 in) to 7 millimetres (0.28 in) long which are surrounded by two to four smaller bracts or bracteoles. Flowers are cinnamon-scented and would appear from autumn to winter. [8] [12]

Three to six ray florets; each ligule approximately 1 centimetre (0.39 in) long; ten to twelve disc florets, 12 millimetres (0.47 in) to 15 millimetres (0.59 in) long. [6]

When cultivated in the gardens of the National Museums of Kenya, it has orange florets. [13]

Fruits and reproduction

Achenes about 2 millimetres (0.079 in) long, and not hairy; pappus 6 millimetres (0.24 in) to 7 millimetres (0.28 in) long. [6] It grows easily from stem cuttings. [7]


The plant features masses of golden yellow flowers. Senecio tamoides.jpg
The plant features masses of golden yellow flowers.

It is a drought-tolerant, fast-growing garden plant that grows in full sun and in well-drained soil towards a wall or fence, and may need some regular plant food for robust growth and abundant flowering. Its long stems require support to climb, such as on a trellis or a pergola. It can also be allowed to naturally creep through other shrubs or by planting beside a tree, leaving it to ascend by itself. The plant's growing tips should receive full sunshine for the flowers to develop, though the base can tolerate full shade. [8]

Although naturally evergreen, it may be semi-decidious in places that have frosty winters where it would die back and recover again in spring. It can be pruned once in a while to maintain its spread in the garden. It can be grown from seed in spring, or from stem cuttings in summer. [8]


It is native to southern Africa where it occurs from the Eastern Cape to eastern Zimbabwe, as well as in parts of the forests in KwaZulu-Natal and areas along the escarpment. [14] It grows along evergreen forest margins at altitudes of 300 metres (980 ft) to 1,900 metres (6,200 ft) [4] and in moist gullies. [6]


In Australia, it is sparingly found in moist gullies in Sydney, the North Coast and South Coast of New South Wales, and southeast Queensland, after escaping from the garden as an ornamental plant due to its seeds being dispersed by wind and parts of its stems being spread in disposed garden waste.

It is a species of concern in south-eastern Queensland, where it was ranked in a list that contains 100 most invasive species in the region. As such, the plant is listed on a few local weed lists in south-eastern QLD – It is a pest plant in Redland Shire, an invasive plant in Gold Coast City, an unwelcome species in Burnett Shire, a significant non-declared pest plant in Maroochy Shire, and an unwanted species in Caboolture Shire. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

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