Wednesday

Mother Of Thousands

Kalanchoe daigremontiana syn. Bryophyllum daigremontianum also called Devil's Backbone, Mexican Hat Plant or Mother of Thousands is a succulent plant native to Madagascar. This plant is distinguished by its ability to propagate on the mother plant itself.

Plants reach up to 1 m (3 feet) tall with opposite, fleshy oblong-lanceolate "leaves" that reach 15-20 cm (6-8 inches) long and about 3.2 cm (1.25 inches) wide. These are medium green above and blotched
with purple underneath. The margins of these leaf-like organs have spoon-shaped bulbiliferous spurs that bear young plants. The plantlets form roots while on the plant. The "leaves" are actually short, determinate, leaf-like branches that can be termed phylloclades or cladodes.
Adult plants can also develop lateral root structures on its main stalk, as high up as 10-15 cm from the ground. The upper leaves of the plant tend to develop into disproportionately large structures, causing the main stalk to bend downwards and the lateral roots to take up root of their own, anchoring into the soil and eventually developing new primary stalks which establish themselves as independent plants.

Furthermore, Kalanchoe daigremontiana can go through a flowering season, where the main stalk elongates vertically upwards by as much as 30 cm, within a couple of days, developing an umbrella-like terminal inflorescence (a compound cyme) of small bell-shaped pink flowers. Flowering is, however, not an annual event and will occur sporadically if at all.

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2 comments:

Eric said...

Hi Claudia,
Do you know of any healing power of Kalanchoe daigremontiana?
I have heard they are widely used in home made or natural medicine and the plant is also called the Doctor.
Would be nice to hear from you.
Best regards
ulrich
bavaria@emirates.net.ae

Claudia said...

K.daigremontiana is toxic like many other Kalanchoe.
It does contains cardiac glycoside, which I've heard is used for treatment of congestive heart failure - but I am not a doctor and therefore cannot elaborate. I would not advise using it as a home made remedy :)

Servus