This unusual plant is a brillliant idea for a birthday present. Cactus are often the first plants to capture a child’s imagination, but Senecio peregrinus Jumping Dolphin has rather more elan and far fewer prickles.
Displayed to best effect as a hanging plant, the foliage of S. peregrinus is a wonderfully dark blue/green, springing densely from the pot and cascading down in thick waves of colour. But look closely at the leaves, especially as they mature: they resemble tiny dolphins, complete with distinctive flippers, arching gracefully out of the water, about 2cm long and perfectly formed.
Senecios (the name curiously derived from senex – the Latin for old man) come from an enormous family that includes daisies. This distant relation is a succulent and as such requires little attention, which means it can be left to a child’s tender mercies and still thrive (although you may have to hide the watering can).
Pot size: 15cm
Height: 21cm (excluding hanger); will hang down to approximately 50cm over time.
Care: Water sparingly, particularly in the winter and avoid temperatures below 10 degrees. Hang in good light but out of direct sunlight.