Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kalanchoe, the Succulent Flowering Plant

Kalanchoe, also written Kalanchöe or Kalanchoë is a genus of about 125 species of tropical, succulent flowering plants in the Family Crassulaceae, mainly native to the Old World but with a few species now growing wild in the New World following introduction.

Most are shrubs or perennial herbaceous plants, but a few are annual or biennial. The largest, Kalanchoe beharensis from Madagascar, can reach 6 m tall, but most species are less than 1 m tall.

Members of Kalanchoe genus are characterized by opening their flowers by growing new cells on the inner surface of the petals to force them outwards, and on the outside of the petals to close them.

The genus was first described by the botanist Michel Adanson in 1763. Reportedly, the name came "from the Chinese name for one of the species." This Chinese species is thought to have been either Kalanchoe ceratophylla or Kalanchoe spathulata. The genus Bryophyllum was described by Salisbury in 1806 and the genus Kitchingia was created by Baker in 1881. Kitchingia is now regarded as a synonym for Kalanchoe, whereas some botanists treat Bryophyllum as a separate genus.


See also: Florist, Florists, Flower

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