Monday, April 16, 2012

Kalanchoe pinnata......

An amazing succulent, native to Africa, Madagascar, India and Indian Ocean Islands.......

I cannot remember where I acquired this unusual looking plant but it wasn't much more than two years ago.  Now, it can be found in at least four different places in the garden and has been flowering all winter.
I like that the foliage stays low and the flowers reach to two or three feet and more and the colouring is very attractive. 

Kalanchoe pinnata from the family Crassulaceae has become naturalized in temperate regions of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Macaronesia, Mascarenes, Galapagos, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii.
In many of these, such as Hawaii, it is regarded as an invasive species.
It is also widely distributed in the Philippines and it is known as katakataka or kataka-taka which is also an adjective meaning astonishing or remarkable.

Kalanchoe pinnata
from the description as Bryophyllum calycinum of 1805 by Richard Anthony Salisbury.

In common with other Crassulaceae such as the genera Tylecodon, Cotyledon and Adromischus,   Kalanchoe pinnata has been found to contain bufadienolide cardiac glycosides These can cause cardiac poisoning, particularly in grazing animals.

 In traditional medicine, Kalanchoe species have been used to treat ailments such as infections, rheumatism and inflammation.
Kalanchoe pinnata has been recorded in Trinidad and Tobago as being used as a traditional treatment for hypertension and for the treatment of kidney stones in India where is goes by the name of Pather Chat or Paan-futti.

Bufadienolide compounds isolated from Kalanchoe pinnata include bryophillin A which showed strong anti-tumor promoting activity, and bersaldegenin-3-acetate and bryophillin C which were less active.   Bryophillin C also showed insecticidal properties.