String of beans

A succulent-like plant with trailing vine
RELATED TOPICS: ZONE 10 | ZONE 9 | ZONE 9 | PERENNIAL
string_bean1
Photo 1
Nancy Norris
Common name: String of beans
Latin name: Senecio radicans
Plant type: Perennial
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-10
Cultural needs: Sandy, well-drained soil, in sun or part shade
Plant size: 1" high trailing to 2' or longer
string_bean2
Photo 2
Nancy Norris
String of beans’ succulent bead-like leaves grow from stringy stems and present a unique opportunity for railroad gardeners. The designers, Joel Waszak and Martha Miller of Colorado, greened up the pergola above the waiting platform to enhance a lovely depot they built for their Switzerland Trail Railroad (photo 1). Although we can’t see where the “vines” are planted, we can assume they are next to the arbor structure. However, the limp stems must be lifted onto the structure, as they don’t twine like ivy or other vines. Joel and Martha live in Zone 5, so they will need to transplant their string of beans into a pot and bring the plant indoors for the winter. Other senecios, like string of pearls (S. rowleyanus) and string of bananas (S. radicans glauca), also bear fat leaves on stringy stems. The large genus of senecio is grouped in the daisy family due to their yellow, pink, or white-petal flowers, but the leaves look more like desert plants. Native to South Africa, senecios don’t dry out as readily as thin-leaved plants because they store water in their leaves. For a groundcover of 1/4" thick, deserty-blue leaves, try dwarf blue chalk sticks (S. serpens ‘Mini Blue’), shown in photo 2.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of GardenRailways.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0
DCC for Large Scale

DCC for Large Scale

Our four-part beginner's guide.

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Garden Railways magazine. Please view our privacy policy