Synonym: Kleinia repens, Senecio serpens
Common Name: blue chalk sticks, snake ragwort
Origin: Curio repens is endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa, however it has been introduced and is widespread in New Zealand (1).
Description: Curio repens is a sprawling succulent shrub that has a creeping habit (1). This plant can grow to heights of 6-8 inches and spreads up to 3 feet, with roots forming at each stem node as they touch the ground (3,4,5,6). Leaves are 1-2 inch long, and slender with a silvery blue-green hue (6). Its cylindrical leaves are fleshy and angled upwards like blue-grey tapered candles (6). This plant develops discoid flowers (groups of disk flowers) organized into an inflorescence called a corymb, with each head in the corymb being a compound flower comprised of many tiny white disk flowers (5,7,8). When successfully pollinated, the flowers produce a dry dehiscent fruit that splits to release the seeds, each of which have a feathery white pappus to facilitate wind dispersal (3).
Cultivation and Care: