Kalanchoe pumila ‘Silver Grey’

February 25, 2017

Kalanchoe pumila ‘Silver Grey’

 

     Also known as the ‘flower dust plant’, Kalanchoe pumila is native to the rocky soils in the mountains of Madagascar.  It may be pronounced Ka-Lan-KO-EE, or Ka-Lan-CHO-EE. This plant is also in the Crassulacea family that many of our other succulents also belong to.  Kalanchoe pumila ‘Silver Grey’ is a dwarf succulent shrub, growing in a mounding/trailing pattern 12 in high, and 1-2 feet wide. In the winter and spring, it sends up lovely bright pink bell shaped flowers to brighten up its somewhat muted silvery foliage of scalloped succulent grey/blue leaves. The leaves are covered in a fine white hair, giving it a frosted mystical appearance. It is a very interesting plant trailing from the edges of a contrasting colored hanging basket and silhouetted against your window! These plants also do well in rock gardens among other contrasting succulents. It is hardy and drought resistant, although can be frost sensitive.         Good companion plants are Echeveria species, Sedum species, Aeonium, Sempervivum, and Graptopetalum.  We carry species of all these and more here at Clearwater Color Nursery.  Most species of Kalanchoe are native to Madagascar, a large island off the Southeast of Africa.  Islands tend to have their own distinctive flora, or ‘endemic species’ due to their isolation from other land, their specific soil, and climate.  

     Some believe the word Kalanchoe comes from the ancient Indian words 'kalanka' meaning "spot" or "rust" and 'chaya' meaning glossy in reference to the reddish glossy leaves of the Indian species K. Laciniata. The specific epithet 'pumila', Latin for "small", is in reference to the small stature of this plant. However, the name Kalanchoe is still somewhat of a mystery - there is some thought that it comes from a phonetic transcription of the Chinese words 'Kalan Chauhuy' meaning "that which falls" and grows, likely in reference to the plantlets that drop from many of the species.  After falling from the plant, these plantlets root where they drop and eventually grow into full fledged adult specimens.  Mother of thousands (Kalanchoe Diagremontiana is the perfect illustration of this phenomenon.  We are currently growing Kalanchoe pumila ‘Silver Grey’ in 4.5” containers. Give us a call, follow us on Facebook and check out our newly designed website www.clearwatercolor.com to see photos of these and many other plants we are growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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