Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri

Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri.

Family Crassulaceae > Subfamily Sedoideae > Tribe Kalanchoeae.
Donkey ears are also known as Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri.
The succulent herbs are from Madagascar.
The fleshy opposite leaves are typically concentrated on the lower part of the stem sometimes forming a tight basal rosette.

The ovate to lanceolate leaves are up to 50 or 60 cm long and 10 cm wide.
The tip is pointed and the edge has small teeth or lobes.
The wedge-shaped base tapers to a short wide petiole that clasps the stem.
There is a white coating on the stem and leaves.

Young leaves are green but look whitish or grey-green due to the white coating.
Older leaves loose the coating and develop a reddish edge.
The midrib, and the whole leaf may become reddish.
Irregular bands across the leaves are green, brown or maroon.

Plantlets or bulbils grow from the notches on the leaf edges.
They can grow into new plants when the leaves fall or the stem bends down so the leaf tip touches the ground.

Terminal inflorescences, up to 90 cm tall hold dense clusters of drooping flowers.
Lateral branches grow from the axils of the large leaf-like bracts.
The branches can be up to 8 cm long with the terminal flowers opening first (cymes).
Flowers are on a pedicel up to 1.5 cm long that has tiny bracteoles on it.

The sepals are fused into an inflated tube up to 1.5 cm long with 4 pointed lobes up to 1 cm long.
Initially green the exposed outer surface becomes reddish.

The petals are fused into a corolla tube up to 5 cm long.
The 4 pointed lobes, with some glandular hairs are around 1 cm long.
The corolla starts a slightly greenish yellow with a red margin on the lobes and red lines running down from between the lobes.
It then becomes a salmon colour sometimes with more dark reddish lines.
The inner surface remains yellow.

There are 8 stamens inserted low down on the corolla tube.
The yellow anthers lie just outside the tube near the base of the lobes.
The superior ovary, of 4 carpels develops into 4 follicles with numerous ovules.

Towards the end of flowering the leaves wilt and the plant usually dies.
New plants grow from the fallen plantlets.