Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mother of Thousands

Kalanchoe daigremontiana is a succulent plant in the Crassulaceae family which produces its babies along leaf edges.  These babies send a few roots out into the air and then fall off to start their own lives, if still a bit close to home.  Mother of Thousands is but one of its common names.  Devil's Backbone and Alligator Plant are others.

All parts of this plant are poisonous.  The potentially heart-stopping glycoside, daigremontianin, is responsible.  So, don't eat it! And use gloves if you work with it.  The plant world is full of amazing. I found this specimen growing at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens conservatory yesterday.

More to come...it's Conservatory World Tour week!


  1. Wow. What an incredible plant. And poisonous? The world is full of the most interesting things!

  2. Great photo! Amazing how something so pretty can be dangerous

  3. thanks, everyone! i have read that this plant is being studied for potential medicinal uses -- in some cultures it has been used to treat cancer.

  4. Those are so cute (and a conservatory tour is a great idea).

    You should submit one of your series posts for this month's How to Find Great Plants, the deadline is tomorrow (1/28/2011) at midnight eastern time. You can use posts you've already written: