Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.

Frost tender, bushy, erect, perennial succulent with ovate, toothed, red-tinged leaves, and pendant, tubular to bell-shaped, red-tinted, greenish-white flowers in cyme-like panicles in late summer.  To 1m.  [RHSE].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The name was happily conceived by Mr. Salisbury, from [the Greek] to germinate & a leaf.  For this plant possesses the singular property of germinating from the dark spot observable at the base of every indentation in the margin of the leaf, not whilst growing, but as it decays.  Thus, in attempting to dry a specimen, little germinating bulbs were produced in abundance, though there was no appearance of any before the plant was deposited between papers.  We know of no other species which will come under this genus; the Cotyledon pinnata of Lamarck being probably the same; and his two varieties differing in nothing but that in the one the crenatures of the leaves had germinated and put forth radicles, while the other had not.  Native of the Moluccas, and brought into England from the Calcutta garden by Dr. Roxburgh.  Requires a moderate stove.  Flowers in May.  Propagated by the crenatures of the leaves or by cuttings.’  [BM t.1409/1811]. 

‘The whole plant possesses curious properties: the calyx, which has the appearance of a small open bladder, is produced first, and the corolla grows out of it a considerable time afterwards: the leaves have the power of producing young plants from the notches at their edges.’  [LBC no.877/1824]. 

Introduced to Britain in 1806: ‘a species of House-Leek, chiefly regarded as a curiosity; but a single leaf laid down on a damp surface will throw out young plants all around its margin.’  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1857 catalogue only [T.181/1857].


Published Feb 28, 2009 - 04:47 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 04:39 PM

Illustrated are ovate, toothed leaves, and pendant, tubular,  greenish-white flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1409, 1811.

Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers. | BM t.1409/1811 | BHL

Family Crassulaceae
Region of origin


  • Bryophyllum calycinum Salisb.
  • Bryophyllum pinnatum Schweinf.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Bryophyllum calycinum 

Confidence level high