Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Mother of thousands

Popped in to the University glasshouse to see what was in flower, and this wonderful succulent was most accommodating.  In general TPP loves this plant because you can use it to illustrate so many things.  Like many members of the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae), this plant is primarily grown for its succulent ornamental leaves.  It's tough and deals with winter time household temps and humidity (and lack thereof) quite well.  However the flowers are quite nice and are good for illustrating flowers with parts in multiples of 4s, including 4 pistils.  And ever so delightfully it produces plantlets on its leaf margins that are easily removed and grown.  They also fall off and quickly populate an area, thus the mother of thousands common name, a great example of asexual reproduction.  The genus is Kalanchoe (kal-an-Koh-ee).

1 comment:

William M. Connolley said...

I have one of these, or rather I have a pot of many little ones and one big one, all competing and all shedding children. But they've never flowered :-(