Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a commonly cultivated evergreen house plant of the genus Kalanchoe native to Madagascar. It is known by the English common names flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe, florist kalanchoe[2] and Madagascar widow's-thrill.[3]

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
Dark red cultivar
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus: Kalanchoe
K. blossfeldiana
Binomial name
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Kalanchoe globulifera var. coccinea H. Perrier

Taxonomy and naming


Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is in the Kalanchoe section of the Kalanchoe genus, with a description of the plant published in 1934 (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 35:159).[4] Regarding the etymology of the binomial, Adanson adapted the generic name Kalanchoe from 'Kalanchauhuy', a Chinese name for one species recorded by Georg Joseph Kamel, a botanist and Jesuit missionary to the Philippines.[5][6][7] The Oxford English Dictionary states that it is "based on [the] Chinese 伽藍菜 gāláncài",[8] whilst the Collins English Dictionary merely restates the claim that the generic name was derived from the local Chinese name for one of the species.[9] The specific epithet blossfeldiana is in tribute to German hybridiser and botanist Robert Blossfeld, who first introduced the plant to the rest of the world in 1932.[10] The common name Christmas Kalanchoe comes from the plant's flamboyant and colourful blooms in winter.[11][12]



Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a glabrous,[11] bushy, evergreen and perennial succulent plant which (in 2–5 years)[13] can reach an ultimate height of between 30 and 45 cm (12 and 18 in)[2] and an ultimate spread of between 10 and 50 cm (4 and 19.5 in).[13] K. blossfeldiana has a round habit and a moderate plant density; its growth rate has been described as 'slow'.[14] The plant has green,[13] shiny and textured glossy foliage[2] which stays green all year round.[13] The scallop-edged and ovate leaves are arranged in an opposite/subopposite fashion, are simple in type with crenate margins and an oblong shape.[14] The arrangement of the veins in a leaf (venation) can be absent or very hard to see; the leaf blades are 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long.[14] K. blossfeldiana flowers in late autumn to early winter; each flower has four petals and can be one of a wide variety of colours, from the dark reds and pinks to oranges, golds and whites. K. blossfeldiana is a short-day plant, meaning that its blooming cycle is regulated by the amount of sunlight it receives each day. The plant will bloom when it is receiving approximately 10 hours of daylight and 14 hours of darkness for 6-8 weeks.[15] The ovary is tetracarpellary and apocarpous while stamens are four in number and are epipetalous.[2] The inflorescences are borne by peduncles which are higher up than the leaves and are terminal in nature.[16] Parts of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana are poisonous if ingested.[2]

Distribution and habitat


Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is native to Madagascar, where the plant can be found growing in the relatively cool plateaus of the Tsarantanana Mountains; K. blossfeldiana in this environment grows in humus soil.[17]



While generally disease-free, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana can be damaged by pest insects such as Otiorhynchus sulcatus (vine weevil) or mealybugs.[13]



With a minimum temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) K. blossfeldiana requires the protection of glass during the winter months in temperate locations. It needs to be in a cool, partially shaded spot. However, it may be placed outside in summer. In the UK It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[18][19]


See also



  1. ^ "Kalanchoe globulifera var. coccinea H. Perrier". The Plant List. Archived from the original on 9 July 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Detailed information on Flaming Katy, Christmas Kalanchoe, Florist Kalanchoe Kalanchoe blossfeldiana". PlantFiles. Dave's Garden. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Plants Profile for Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (Madagascar widow's-thrill)". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Kalanchoe blossfeldiana". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  5. ^ Adanson, M. Familles des Plantes
  6. ^ Camel, J.G. Herbarium aliarumque stirpium in Insulâ Luzone Philippinarum Primariâ nascentium. In: John Ray: Historia plantarum. Band 3, London 1704, Anhang, S. 1–42 p. 6. item 18. [1]
  7. ^ Baldwin Jr., J. T. (October 1938). "Kalanchoe: The Genus and its Chromosomes". American Journal of Botany. 25 (8): 572–579. doi:10.2307/2436516. JSTOR 2436516.
  8. ^ "kalanchoe". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  9. ^ "kalanchoe". Collins English Dictionary. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Kalanchoe blossfeldiana information". Plants by name. Flowers.org.uk. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  11. ^ a b Lemke, Carl (23 December 2005). "Kalanchoe blossfeldiana - Christmas Kalanchoe - Crassulaceae". University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (Christmas Kalanchoe) for charming colors". John&Jacq~s Garden. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Kalanchoe blossfeldiana AGM". Plant Selector. Royal Horticultural Society. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  14. ^ a b c F. Gilman, Edward. "FPS-309/FP309: Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana Kalanchoe". Electronic Data Information System. University of Florida. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  15. ^ "How to Get a Florist Kalanchoe to Rebloom". World of Succulents. 1 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Kalancho/ Kalancho blossfeldiana / Christmas kalanchoe/ Flaming Katy". PHILIPPINE MEDICINAL PLANTS. STUARTXCHANGE. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  17. ^ "Plants & Flowers » Kalanchoe blossfeldiana". PlantsRescue. 16 August 2013. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  18. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Kalanchoe blossfeldiana". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  19. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal HorticulturalSociety. July 2017. p. 56. Retrieved 14 March 2018.