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Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.

Family Name: Crassulaceae
Synonyms: Bryophyllum calycinum, Crassula pinnata, Cotyledon pinnata, Bryophyllum pinnatum
Common Name: Life Plant, Mother of Thousands, Miracle Leaf, Setawar Kampung, 落地生根
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Little Water Caterpillar Food Plant Herb & Spice Green Roof Interiorscape / Indoor Plant Dry Soils / Drought Shallow Media Woody Herbaceous

Name

Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Synonyms
Common Names
Comments

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 0.9 m to 1.8 m

Biogeography

Native Distribution Madagascar
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous succulent shrub, up to 1.8m height.
Foliage Leaves smooth, glossy, fleshy, with brownish crenate margins, from which plant produces new plantlets. Lower leaves simple, upper leaves compound with 3-7 leaflets held on long petioles.
Flowers Attractive, bell-shaped, pendulous, held in large stalked panicles.
Fruits Membranous follicles covered by persistent flower parts, with numerous seeds.
Associated Fauna Host plant for caterpillars of Talycada nyseus (Red Pierrot) butterfly. Caterpillars tunnel through inner leaf tissues, leaving epidermis intact, resulting in translucent or water-soaked patches on leaves.
Cultivation Prefers well-drained soils. Propagate by stem cuttings or leaf plantlets. Plantlets are easily produced from fallen leaves, and may become weedy.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Kalanchoe' (correctly pronounced as kal-un-KOH-ee) reportedly derived from Chinese dialect name for a species in this genus (perhaps Kalanchoe ceratophylla) . Species epithet 'pinnata' means 'feather-like', describing how the leaves are arranged on each side of a common stalk.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Herb and Spice)
[Others]: Medicinal: Well-known for healing properties in folk medicine, said to be able to heal wounds with minimal scarring. Leaf pulp applied topically as poultices for skin lesions, sores, inflammation and to arrest bleeding, or made into lotions to treat smallpox. Leaf paste applied to chest to relieve coughs, or to temples to relieve headaches. Eaten fresh or dried to treat symptoms of diarhhoea, dysentery, chlorea, and dissolve kidney stones. Cultural: Stems and leaves sometimes hung in houses to summon good spirits & ward off evil ones. Leaves also commonly placed in between pages of book as living bookmarks.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Easy to Grow, Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils, Disease / Pest Resistant, Shallow Media (8 -10cm)
Landscape Uses Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, General, Green Roof, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden, Economic Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Can cause cardiac poisoning in grazing animals.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.
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