Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum?) Pinnata

Kalanchoe pinnata is a succulent perennial that grows 4-6 feet tall on hollow stems. It has bright green leaves comprised of 3-5 leaflets with distinctively scalloped dark maroon margins.Bryophyllum pinnata, 12/2/13

The number of leaflets present varies from one (simple) near the base of the stem to two or more (compound) as the plant grows.

Bryophyllum pinnata compound leaflets, 11/05/13

When more than one leaflet is present, the one at the tip is significantly larger than the others, as seen in the next image:

Bryophyllum pinnata, 11/05/13

Although I’ve been calling this succulent a Kalanchoe,  Bryophyllum appears to be the current taxonomy based on several characteristics: (1) formation of plantlets in the leaf notches AFTER the leaf falls from the stem (2) the presence of pendulous flowers, (3) origins in Madagascar.

In contrast, species classified in the Kalanchoe group originate from a larger geographic range, have upright-facing flowers and produce plantlets along the margins of leaves still attached to the mother plant.  Of course all of this could change because numerous species don’t fit neatly in either category, and taxonomy has a way of updating with each new DNA analysis. 😮

But for now, let’s take a look at the traits that made K. pinnata the Bryophyllum she is today ➡ pendent flowers opening from short, lateral branches on tall, chandelier-like stalks.

Bryophyllum pinnata blooming, 12/02/13

The individual blooms are 1″ long and tubular shaped, emerging pinkish-green and deepening to red before drying on the stalk as a pale, papery brown. .

Bryophyllum pinnata flower, 12/02/13

When pinnata drops a leaflet, it goes into survival mode: bulbils (plantlets) begin growing along the leaf notches.

Bryophyllum pinnata leaf with bulbil, 12/02/13

As you might imagine, this form of propagation can be mighty invasive!  Good thing I like these burgeoning renamed kalanchoes! 🙂 I’m surrounded! 😉

Bryophyllum pinnata flower close up, 12/02/13

Until next time…….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Finally! The wind died down this morning and I got outside to take pictures for the first time in a week.  Unbelievably, almost every image wound up working for this week’s challenge, yet I had NO idea the topic was layers until long after lunch! 🙂  Gotta love when the stars align like that!!

Anyway…here we go 🙂

The first photo shows an unidentified kalanchoe with layers of leaves in different shapes and sizes:

Unidentified Kalanchoe, 11/15/13

Next, Lady Margaret Passiflora is a study in multi-layered beauty!

Passiflora Lady Margaret, 11/15/13

Tiny roots form the bottom layer on this Kalanchoe pinnata leaf-plantlet.

Kalanchoe pinnata plantlet, 11/15/13

In a few weeks, layers of orange flowers will burst from this wild Sesbania bud.

Sesbania punicea, 11/15/13

Before I sign off….. If you can identify the Kalanchoe in the first photo, let me know!

For other interpretations of this week’s challenge, click on the Zemanta related links below.

Until next time…

🙂 🙂 🙂

I told you it was invasive!

Last week I wrote a post about the Balsam Apple Vine, ending with a caution about its invasive nature.. Perhaps I should have included a few pictures for emphasis! Holy Canoli! Look at the assault taking place on the other side of my fence!   (Note: as always, click the photos to enlarge them)Queen Palm and Balsam Apple Vine, Vero Beach, 10/24/13

The lot next-door is vacant and much of what’s growing there has volunteered from my various gardens. In the picture below, we see Balsam Apple fighting Mile-a-Minute Vine for “twining” rights!  To the victor goes the spoils, in this case Kalanchoe Pinnata!  (Random fact should you ever be a Jeopardy contestant: K.Pinnata flowers after growing 2 years or putting on 37 pairs of leaves…whichever comes first. This one’s right ready to spike!)

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Zooming out, we see Balsam Apple extending down the entire fence line: sun or shade, this vine grows indiscriminately!

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Until next time…..

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