Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Senecio
Species: S. scandens


Despite the Senecio genus containing arguably the largest group of flowering plants in the entire world, it includes very few climbers. Of those, Senecio scandens is consider by many to be the hardiest and it is the only species currently kept in general cultivation.


Native to Japan, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, India and east Nepal, it was described and named by Scottish botanist George Don, and was first introduced to Europe in 1895. It is sometimes known by the common name of yellow German ivy, which when you consider its eastern origins is rather odd.

It is a vigorous, semi-evergreen, woody climber with long ascending (scandent) stems which if given the suitable support of a mature tree or tall wall is capable to reaching between 4.5-6 meters in height.

The leaves are narrowly triangular or ovate, coarsely toothed and sometimes lobed at the base. The small, bright yellow, almost daisy-like flower-heads are produced in large panicles (multi-branched cluster of flower) over the autumn - usually during October and November. The flowers have both male and female organs (hermaphrodite) and are insect pollinated.

Senecio scandens will tolerate most ordinary garden soils so long as they are moist and well-drained. It will do best when planted in a sunny, sheltered position although in cooler European climates it will be cut back down to the ground due by freezing temperatures. Be that as it may, it will usually grow back in the spring with renewed vigor. Senecio scandens will not perform well in the shade.

Given mild seasonal conditions, Senecio scandens can be a particularly eye-catching specimen offering fantastic autumn colour.

About the Author

The 'Seeds of Eaden' website is the brainchild of professional horticulturist and multi-award winning gardener Simon Eade. After six years of study; two years 'Retail Horticulture' at Hadlow College, then four years Commercial Horticulture at Greenwich University, Simon has worked in a number of 'fields' within the industry for over twenty years. Most notably, managing the prestigious Alexandra Palace garden centre in London. Since then he has become an internationally published writer, and author of the popular 'Garden of Eaden' blog.

Simon Eade is also a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society's Banksian medal

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