Kalanchoe is a genus of about 125 species of succulent flowering plants native to Madagascar, a large island in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa. They belong to the family Crassulaceae and most of them are shrubs and perennial herbaceous plants.
Kalanchoes are known for their large thick leaves and showy, colorful blooms. They are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors.
The word “Kalanchoe” is a latinised corruption of the Chinese word ‘Kalan Chau’, which means “that which falls and grows”, in reference to its asexual reproduction.
Kalanchoe symbolizes endurance and lasting affection.
It can also symbolize wealth and prosperity.
Interesting facts about Kalanchoe
History of Kalanchoe
The genus was first described in 1763 by the botanist Michel Adanson.
Kalanchoe was brought from Madagascar to Paris in 1927 and turned into a houseplant by the German seed merchant Robert Blossfeld. Today, Blossfeld’s name is attached to the species Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.
This plant was one of the first plants in space, sent to the Soviet space station Salyut 1 in 1971. The plants were brought up to the station to increase the mood of the crew.
Kalanchoe in China
Kalanchoe is a popular plant during Chinese New Year celebration.
This plant is known to the Chinese as “thousands and millions of red and purple” and it is said to bring wealth and prosperity.
The genus name is derived from the Chinese “Kalan Chau”, which means “that which falls and grows”.
Benefits and Uses
The plant has been used as a medicine to treat infections, inflammation and rheumatism.
Kalanchoe is also effective for the treatment of cancer. Its leaves contain an organic compound that can prevent the development and metastasis of cancerous cells.
Kalanchoe Plant Data
Cactus - Succulents, Perennials, Shrubs
Kalanchoe comes in a variety of colors, including orange, pink, red, white and many variations thereof.
Spring, Autumn, Winter, Summer
Most species are less than 1 m (3 ft), with the exception of Kalanchoe beharensis from Madagascar which can reach the height of 6 m (20 ft).
These plants do best in well drained soil, with a pH level between 5.0 and 6.5.