From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kalanchoe pinnata (syn. Bryophyllum calycinum, Bryophyllum pinnatum, also known as the Air Plant, Life Plant, Miracle Leaf and the Goethe Plant) is a succulent plant native to Madagascar. It is distinctive for the profusion of miniature plantlets that form on the margins of its leaves, a trait it has in common with the other members of the Bryophyllum section of the Kalanchoe genus.It is a popular houseplant and has become naturalized in temperate regions of Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean.
Distribution and introduction Kalanchoe pinnata 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. Much of the reason for the widespread naturalization of this plant can be traced to its popularity as a garden plant. The writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - who also was an amateur naturalist of some repute - was "passionately fond" of this plant and liked to give the baby plantlets as gifts to friends who visited his home. He also discussed his air plant at length in an essay titled Geschichte meiner botanischen Studien ("History of my botanical studies").
Taxonomy and nomenclature
Subspecies and hybrids
Common namesVernacular names for Kalanchoe pinnata include Cathedral Bells, Air Plant, Life Plant, Miracle Leaf and the Goethe Plant. The first two of these are also commonly names for plants of other species and genera.
Agricultural impacts and control
Toxicity and traditional medicineIn 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 extracts also have immunosuppressive effects. Kalanchoe pinnata has been recorded in Trinidad and Tobago as being used as a traditional treatment for hypertension. 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.
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