Kalanchoe beharensis

Kalanchoe beharensis.

Family Crassulaceae > Subfamily Sedoideae > Tribe Kalanchoeae > Genus Kalanchoe.
The Elephant’s ear kalanchoe or Felt bush is native to Madagascar.
The bushy succulent evergreen shrubs can become tree-like over time.
Commonly seen around 2 to 3 m high they can reach 5 or 6 m.
The thick trunk, up to 15 cm across has sparse branches from around 1 m up.
Curved or straight it becomes woody with light brown to grey bark that flakes.
The prominent leaf scars on the trunk, which become larger as the plant grows have sharp projections or ‘spines’.
Younger stems have soft hairs.

The leaves are opposite and decussate (adjacent pairs at right angles).
Adjacent pairs are very close together so when they fall the scars almost cover the whole trunk.
The succulent leaves are on a petiole up to around 10 cm long.
Triangular or arrowhead-shaped blades are up to 45 cm long and 35 cm wide.
Some blades are peltate with the petiole being attached away from the edge.
The blades have irregularly scalloped or toothed edges that are wavy, and a rounded tip.

Older leaves become concave with the edges folded up lengthwise and across.
The petioles, and both blade surfaces have dense white or brown hairs.
Hairs are branched and some have glands.
The olive-green leaves become rusty brown, greyish or grey-blue.
New plants can grow from damaged or fallen leaves.

Axillary inflorescences are loosely branched panicles up to 60 cm long on a stalk (peduncle) up to 30 cm long.
They curve out from the main stem then upwards.
Flowers are on a pedicel up to around 1 cm long with prominent deciduous bracts at its base.

The 2 mm long calyx tube has triangular lobes around 4 mm long.
It is greenish-white with reddish areas mainly near the tips of the lobes.
There may also be reddish-purple stripes down it.

The urn-shaped corolla has a tube around 6 mm long and 4 (5) triangular lobes around 4 mm long that curve back.
The corolla tube is green and the lobes a mix of cream, pink and green with purplish lines.
The calyx and corolla tubes have dense hairs on the outer surface, the corolla lobes on both.

The 4 stamens, on filaments around 5 mm long insert at or above the middle of the corolla tube.
The yellow anthers, up to 1 mm long lie just past the corolla.
The pale green ovary, of 4 (5) carpels is around 4 mm long and the styles, around 8 mm long have a small stigma.
The 1 mm nectary lobes are fused to the inner base of the carpels.
The dark brown follicles, around 6 mm long have masses of 1 mm black-brown seeds in each chamber.

Kalanchoe beharenis cultivars.

Kalanchoe is a very variable plant with numerous forms described that are not recognised as species but named as cultivars.
In 2008 17 cultivars were listed and more have been added since then.

Kalanchoe x edwardii ‘Roseleaf’, a cultivar of Kalanchoe x edwardii which is a hybrid of Kalanchoe beharensis and Kalanchoe tomentosa.
It can also be seen as Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Roseleaf’.
Up to 30 cm tall it has upright stems with triangular silvery green leaves with toothed, often brown edges and velvety hairs.
The flowers are white with pinkish-purple lines.

Kalanchoe ‘Fang’, with the same parents is similar but has prominent tubercles or warts on the lower leaf surface.

Kalanchoe beharensis ‘Minima’ has thick scalloped foliage and small clusters of yellow, orange or red flowers.