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Products > Kalanchoe prolifera
Kalanchoe prolifera - Blooming Boxes

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Madagascar
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [Bryophyllum proliferum, B. calycinum]
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Kalanchoe prolifera (Blooming Boxes) - A fast growing and interesting succulent plant with 6+ feet tall typically unbranched stems holding foot long pinnately compound succulent green leaves in opposite pairs that have reddish purple colored petioles and leaf margins when grown in bright light. As the leaves drop the stem has interesting leaf scar bands along the thick stem, which as the plant matures after several years, is topped with 3 foot tall panicle of greenish orange flowers in late winter - the green calyces of the flower are box shaped and nearly hide the pale orange petals. The plant declines after flowering but many new plantlets form in the inflorescence and the main plant will often sucker up with a new stem so a colony is easy to establish. Plant in full coastal to part sun or light shade in a well-drained soil. Irrigate occasionally to very little. Hardy to around 25 F. The interesting shape of the succulent leaves and the tall thick stems makes for a very unusual looking plant in the garden or in a container, small or large, making this unusual plant great for the other worldly alien garden look and, as the name, implies it reproduces prolifically! Tall stems are often blown over by wind to root out and re-establish, which also helps the plant spread, though it is not as invasive as other plantlet forming species of the Kalanchoe/Bryophyllum group. In its native habitat it is common on rocky ground in the Antananarivo region of central Madagascar from 3,300 to 6,500 feet in elevation. The name for the genus 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 name for the synonym, Bryophyllum, comes from the Greek words 'bryon' meaning "sprout" and 'phyllon' meaning "leaf" in reference to the manner of which the new plantlets develop. The current genus name depends on the whim of the most current taxonomists, either lumped in with Kalanchoe or splitted out as Bryophyllum - currently the the Tropicos database of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar has it as a species of Kalanchoe, while the Plant List (Collaboration between Kew and MOBOT) has this plant a species of Bryophyllum. It is also commonly called Jack in the Beanstalk for its rapid growth.  The information on this page is based on the research that we have conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from what we have found on reliable online sources, as well as from observations made of our crops of this plant growing in the nursery and of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Kalanchoe prolifera.