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P Introduced Photo: Gary Thingnam
Common name: Othonna, Little pickles
Botanical name: Crassothonna capensis    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Othonna capensis, Othonna crassifolia, Othonna filicaulis

Othonna is a trailing perennial fleshy herb, becoming somewhat woody toward base. The plant branches freely and looks like a green version of Senecio serpens, but leaves, which are about 1-2 cm, are shaped like cucumber pickles, slender, cylindrical grey-green. When the plant is stressed, leaves turn shades of yellow, lavender, and red. Flowers, which close in low light, also are senecio-like, in that they are daisy-shaped, yellow on the top of slender stems and appears in spring through autumn and sometimes year-round. Blooms emerge from small violet-hued pea shaped buds and persist after blooming as little white puffs. While the foliage is only 5-8 cm tall, the flowers raise up on short stems not more than 2-5 cm above the leaves. Othonna is now very popular in horticulture as a low-growing plant that acts as the perfect groundcover and spreads to about 30-40 cm wide. It forms a thick mat of fleshy leaves and grows very quickly. Othonna is native to Cape Province in Southern Africa.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation in Imphal.

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