Jacobaea maritima
Common Name: silver ragwort
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Mediterranean
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Bloom Description: Cream to yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Deer, Heavy Shade

Culture

Tender perennial that is winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10. In St. Louis, it is grown as an annual. Start seed indoors 10-15 weeks before last frost date. Starter plants are generally available for purchase in cell/six packs from a variety of retail outlets. Set seedlings/starter plants out at last frost date. Easily grown in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates full shade, but foliage color is best with some sun. Gardeners usually remove flower buds as they appear. Shear plants back if they become leggy. Cuttings may be taken in fall for overwintering, but most gardeners simply repurchase new plants in spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Senecio cineraria, commonly called dusty miller, is a popular foliage plant grown for its cool, silvery, woolly-felted leaves which provide excellent contrast to beds, borders and containers. In frost-free areas, it becomes shrubby over time, typically growing to 1-2’ tall. In St. Louis, it usually grows in a rounded clump to 6-15” tall. Felted, silver-gray leaves (to 6” long) are pinnately cut into irregular oblong segments. Foliage is attractive throughout the growing season, often lasting well past the first frost in fall. Small, daisy-like, cream to yellow flowers usually do not appear in the first year. Flowers are insignificant and generally detract from the foliage effect. Many of the cultivars rarely produce flowers.

Genus name comes from the Latin word senex meaning an old man from the hoary pappus of these plants.

Specific epithet means ash-colored.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to rust.

Garden Uses

Beds or mixed borders. Edgings. Containers.