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Velvet Groundsel, California Geranium

Senecio petasitis

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Senecio (sen-ek-ee-o ) (Info)
Species: petasitis (pet-uh-SY-tiss) (Info)
Synonym:Roldana petasitis
Synonym:Cineraria petasitis



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring




Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hayward, California

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Winnetka, California

Kelso, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 29, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Like the other poster...I once decided to cut mine back to the ground so as to make my yard look larger. It wasn't cut down 5 minutes that I realized I missed it...what a mistake. And like her's it did grow right back. I've never done that again.

I have grown a few cloudforest species over the years..Bocconia,Senecio crista,balensis, Wigandia,Bartletinia...and many more. Senecio petasitis outlived them all and was easiest of all to care for. Unlike some,it has also taken well to being dug up and moved...doing that to Bocconia was death.
Just a great cloudforest plant..try it.


On Mar 13, 2005, margu from Los Angeles, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Oh, I do so love this beautiful plant. Last summer, my landlord's father came over while I was out to "help clean up the yard" and he cut down the plant pictured above, all the way to the ground. It was GONE! (I started crying when I saw what he had done and started screaming at him; it's amazing I didn't get evicted! Now they think I'm a madwoman and they don't come near the place ;->). It's now spring, 8 months after the massacre, and the plant is back to the same size pictured here, about 5-6 feet high, and in full bloom! It's sister, which I managed to save, is now about 10 feet high and about 8 feet wide, and gorgeous!