Kalanchoë humilis 'Desert Surprise' (A selected clone)
Paddle shaped blue-green leaves with spectacular purple markings.
The brown/purple blotches need light to develop fully.
Cultivation and Propagation: It is very easy
to grow and drought-resistant, it makes an interesting plant in any
collection and is rewarding. It is also easy to take care as indoor
Potting mix: It thrives in nutrient poor soils consisting of
equal parts of loam and sand, with pumice or lava grit added to ensure
Exposure: It takes a good deal of sun, though still prefers some
Watering: It needs moderate watering in autumn and spring while
in summer it should be watered thoroughly and allowed to dry before
watering again. In winter give only occasional watering (only when the
plant starts shrivelling), but it will generally grow even in winter if
given water. These plants will survive on neglect. Over-watering is the
most common cause of plant failure.
Frost resistance: It prefers intermediate to warm temperatures
but it is hardy to -2 ° C for short periods.
Maintenance: The flowers are not much of an attraction and can be
Propagation: It is propagated by removal of small offsets at the
base of the main plant or by leaf and stem cuttings. It grows easily
roots at the end of a leaf stalk which has fallen onto ground. New
plants are ready within months.
Use: It is an ideal plant for containers or rock gardens.
Scientific name: Kalanchoe
Fl. Trop. Afr. [Oliver et al.] 2:
Origin and Habitat: Tanzania, Malawi (Mt.
Mdima ), Mozambique ( Sérra de Ribáuč, Mepáluč and Ruo River.)
Altitude: 800-1400 m over sea level.
Habitat: Grows among rocks and in crevices sometime on rocky
island in rivers falls and rapids.
Common Name: Penwiper (Pen Wiper) Plant,
Spotted Kalanchoe, Penwiper, Penwiper Plant, Baby Penwiper, Stipped
Description: Kalanchoe humilis is a low growing
perennial succulent with very decorative leaves strongly marked with
burgundy stripes. It forms a small shrub 30-90 cm tall (with the
Rosettes: Open with leaves crowded at stem apexes the lower
spreading, the upper suberect.
Stem: 2-10 cm long (up to 20 cm in cultivation) arising from a
woody base up to 1 cm thick, unbranched or with few branches, purple or
Leaves: Subsessile, about 3-13 cm, long, 2-6 cm wide, completely
glabrous, grey-green with a slight glaucous bloom on both sides,
strongly marked with maroon spots and stripes, decussate, fleshy, rigid,
obovate often subtruncate at the top margins entire or sometime obtusely
crenate towards the apex, cuneate below. The leaves are soon lost from
the lower parts of the plant.
Inflorescence: Erect, branched panicle 12-38 cm tall from the
centre of the rosette, very ample, very floriferous and with flexuous
axis, with a glaucous bloom.
Flowers: Small, erect or horizontal, dull purple to green, not
Blooming season: Mid-summer.
NOTE: The Kalanchoes are short day plants, they only
bloom when they have less than 12 hours of light per day.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectutures