This, arguably the largest of all plant Families with an estimated 900 genera and over 13,000 species, owes its success to the highly efficient pollination and dispersal mechanisms described and figured in Chapters 4 and 15. Although the standardized head of small flowers surrounded by bracts is more or less constant and at once recognizable
Lett (9.1): A succulent-leaved relative ot the popular house-plant. Coleus pentheri tolerates much drier conditions and is at home in a 9cm (3%in) pot Note thezygomorphic blue ñowers-rare in succulents
Above right (9.21 Peperomias. lelt to right P. nivalis, P. dolabriformis (at rear). P galioides (front). P. columella and an unidentified species from Honolulu. Overleaf (9.3): Leaf succulents in a park in Barcelona Crassula arborescens (foreground centre) and Agave americana ' Medio-picta'
throughout, the vegetative habit ranges from tiny annuals to trees, and includes leaf, stem and caudiciform succulents. Distribution is worldwide, although the leaf succulents are confined to South Africa in the genera Senecio (including Kleinia and Notonia) and Othonna. Jacob-sen (1975) lists over 60 leaf-succulent species of Senecio. relatives of the weedy ragworts and groundsel of temperate gardens. They are cherished for their extraordinary variety of leaf and habit patterns rather than the flower heads, which suffer from over-familiarity in many showier garden plants. Senecio medley-woodii is one of the more attractive in bloom, and a few have a sweet fragrance. Othonna is less common in cultivation, except for the ubiquitous O. capensis (crassifolia), a rank grower when watered but better if starved in full sun. when the yellow "daisies" contrast with the soft, juicy, glaucous green club-shaped
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