Plant of the month

La Concepción Historical Botanical Garden

Jacobaea maritima

Scientific name: Jacobaea maritima (L.) Pelser & Meijden

Family: Asteraceae

Common name: Silver Ragwort, Dusty Miller

Its former name was Senecio cineraria, and some people still know it by that name. It seems that the name of the genus is due to the apostle St. James; that of the species, evidently, refers to the fact that it lives near the sea. It is a highly branched perennial herb that can grow to a height of almost a metre. It is native to the Mediterranean basin, although it is cultivated in many other temperate areas of the world.

The leaves are doubly lobed and have a soft, velvety texture. Overall it is whitish-grey in colour, although the upper side of the leaf is more greenish than the underside. The yellow flower heads are about two centimetres long and are very attractive to a wide variety of insects. The flower heads are the inflorescences commonly known as daisies.

Silver Ragwort is used as an ornamental plant because it is very decorative and provides a colour contrast with other plants due to its silvery leaves. It favours a full sun situation to provide generous flowering, which lasts from spring to summer. It appreciates rich, well-drained soil and, although it tolerates coastal salinity, it is not very tolerant of prolonged drought. It is a toxic plant, so some caution should be exercised with pets. It can be seen in the garden of the senses at La Concepción.