Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

QUERY: English names of Kalanchoe daigremontiana

Posted on by royvickery |

001Kalanchoe daigremontiana, native to Madagascar, is a commonly grown succulent. Small plantlets develop at the margins of its leaves, so that one plant can produce many offspring each year. Consequently it is passed around and sold at community events. As a result of this it has presumably acquired a variety of English names. There are a number of names mentioned on various websites, but how many of these names are in use in the British Isles (or elsewhere), and which ones are most commonly used?

1. Members of the South London Botanical Institute when questioned on 12 July 2012 came up with the following names: Mexican hat (two people), mother-of-thousands (two people) and prickly leaf (one person) [RV].
2. I know it as Mexican hat plant – each of the little ‘tassels’ round the edge of the leaves is a new plantlet – just pick them off and put them on the surface of some damp compost and they’ll root easily [Steve Bustin, Brighton, East Sussex, September 2012].

Image: cultivated, Tooting, London Borough of Wandsworth; January 2016.

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