Herb: Cineraria


Latin name: Senecio cineraria


Synonyms: Cineraria maritima, Senecio bicolor cineraria


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Cineraria:

The fresh juice of the leaves is ophthalmic. Applied to the eyes it has a mildly irritating effect that increases blood flow tot he area, helping to strengthen resistance and clear away infections. One or two drops put into the eyes is said to be of use in removing cataracts and also in the treatment of conjunctivitis. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a trained practitioner. The plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are highly toxic to the liver so the plant should not be used internally.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
60 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
June to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Maritime cliffs in S.W. England, mainly on limestone.

Other uses of Cineraria:

The plant is very tolerant of maritime exposure and can be grown as a dwarf windbreak hedge. It is fairly slow growing, though, and apt to be short-lived.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Overwinter in a cold frame and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of mature wood, November in a greenhouse. Division in spring.

Cultivation of Cineraria:

Maritime cliffs in S.W. England, mainly on limestone.

Known hazards of Senecio cineraria:

The plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are highly toxic to the liver, so the plant should not be used internally.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.