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Products > Kalanchoe tomentosa 'Chocolate Soldier'
 
Kalanchoe tomentosa 'Chocolate Soldier' - Chocolate Soldier Panda Plant
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Madagascar
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Green Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 1-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Kalanchoe tomentosa 'Chocolate Soldier' (Chocolate Soldier Panda Plant) - An interesting and attractive small slow growing succulent subshrub that grows to about 2 feet tall with narrow slightly concave and elliptical succulent pale brownish green leaves that are covered in tiny hairs, giving the plant a velvety look and feel. Along the upper leaf margin and tip is a raised slightly toothed rim that is reddish on new leaves and matures to a rusty brown color, giving this plant a very unusual two toned appearance. In summer can appear, clustered atop 18 in stall stalks, the yellow green flowers with dark brown petal tips, but flowering is not that common. Plant in a well-draining soil in full sun to part shade (requires protection from full sun in inland desert areas) and water only occasionally to very little. Cold hardy to around 25 F. A great smaller plant in the garden as an accent or small groundcover plant and very popular as a container specimen or even a houseplant. The 'Chocolate Soldier' cultivar is a leaf color variant of the species reportedly collected by Werner Rauh in habitat in Madagascar. It has narrower leaves and a more more uniform and thicker dark chocolate brown margins while the species (which is quite variable) typically has broader gray-green leaves and spots or lines of brown along the leaf margins. Other common names for the species include Pussy Ears and Panda Plant. Bernard Descoings in Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassualaceae notes that in Madagascar it is a popular belief that this plant flowering for someone is an indication of richness and prosperity for their household. The name Kalanchoe is somewhat of a mystery - there is some thought that it comes from a phonetic transcription of the Chinese words 'Kalan Chauhuy' meaning "that which falls and grows", likely in reference to the plantlets that drop from many of the species but others believe it from the ancient Indian words 'kalanka' meaning "spot" or "rust" and 'chaya' meaning "glossy" in reference to the reddish glossy leaves of the Indian species K. laciniata. The specific epithet is in reference to the fuzzy hairs covering the leaves.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Kalanchoe toment. 'Chocolate Soldier'.
 
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