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Over 80 species of the largest of all Families of ﬂowering plants are cherished (or ought to be cherished) by lovers of succulents. Yet they have never been made the subject of a book to themselves. This partly springs from confusion and controversy over naming. They are recognised here under just two genera, Senecio and Othonna, and range from fleshy shrubs to lowly creepers, from tiny trees to caudiciforms ideal for lovers of bonsai. All have their own highly individual "composite" ﬂower heads.
There is no up-to-date identiﬁcation key, and illustrations are few and far between. Included are some of the commonest windowsill succulents, such as the ‘Candle Plant’ (Senecio articulatus), yet, amazingly, this has not been given a proper botanical description until now.
Gordon Rowley has been collecting and studying succulent Compositae for over forty years, and now oﬂers this handbook for collectors and growers of them. lt is not a monograph: that must wait until the species have been typiﬁed and surveyed more thoroughly in habitat. But a provisional set of names and synonyms has been provided, and an attempt at a key – difficult, as the plants wondrously transmute when pampered in cultivation. Cultivation details cover all types from the unstartable to the unstoppable. Non-botanists should ﬁnd the abundant illustrations a help in naming and getting to know these astonishingly diverse, rewarding and ever-surprising succulents.