Senecio viravira – Dusty Miller
Senecio viravira is a tough yet beautiful spreading evergreen shrub, and one of the best silver foliage plants you can have in your garden. It tolerates hot, dry conditions well and makes an eye catching informal border.
As you may have guessed, the main draw is its foliage. The silver-grey leaves are finely divided and have a fine, felt-like coating. In full sun, the leaves can appear almost white, and create excellent contrast with darker foliage or colourful plants.
Senecio viravira blooms in mid-summer, producing small, button-like, soft-yellow flowers. These are held on short stems in loose clusters and are not particularly showy. They flowers are, however, attractive to pollinators.
One of the best things about Senecio viravira is that it is easy to care for. This sun loving plant is very tolerant of hot and dry conditions, and prefers a location with full sun to part shade, and lightly moist but well-draining soil. Maintenance requires just a light trim in autumn, including removal of any spent flower heads.
This shrub lends itself to a variety of garden uses due to nicely rounded and compact growth, with an open, spreading habit. It is a great plant for adding texture and colour to any garden setting. Great as a border plant, ground cover, or as an accent plant in rock gardens. It also makes a great container plant.
The plant is generally pest-free and disease-free, and tolerates both drought and light-moderate frost. Not suitable for humid, wet conditions.
In summary, Senecio viravira, is a hardy and easy to care for shrub, with beautiful silver-grey foliage.
- Native to Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil
- Height: 80 cm
- Width: 100 cm
- Position: Full sun to part shade
Why “Dusty Miller”?
The leaves of Senecio viravira are reminiscent of an old-time flour miller, covered in dust from their day of work, hence the common name. With that said, this name can cause confusion as it is also used for several different plants.