Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.
* Bryophyllum calycinum
* Syn. pl. 1:446. 1805
Kalanchoe pinnata (syn. Bryophyllum calycinum, Bryophyllum pinnatum, also known as the Air Plant, Life Plant, Miracle Leaf, Goethe Plant and the Katakataka (Filipino)) is a succulent plant native to Madagascar. It is distinctive for the profusion of miniature plantlets that form on the margins of its leaves, a trait it has in common with the other members of the Bryophyllum section of the Kalanchoe genus.
It is a popular houseplant and has become naturalized in temperate regions of Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean.
Kalanchoe pinnata has become naturalized in temperate regions of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, Macaronesia, Mascarenes, Galapagos, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii. In many of these, such as Hawaii, it is regarded as an invasive species. It is also widely distributed in the Philippines and it is known as katakataka or kataka-taka which is also an adjective meaning astonishing or remarkable.
Much of the reason for the widespread naturalization of this plant can be traced to its popularity as a garden plant. The writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - who also was an amateur naturalist of some repute - was "passionately fond" of this plant and liked to give the baby plantlets as gifts to friends who visited his home. He also discussed his air plant at length in an essay titled Geschichte meiner botanischen Studien ("History of my botanical studies").
Vernacular names for Kalanchoe pinnata include Cathedral Bells, Air Plant, Life Plant, Miracle Leaf, Goethe Plant and the Katakataka. The first two of these are also commonly names for plants of other species and genera. Also called "Wonder of the World" in the English speaking Caribbean. wow!
In common with other Crassulaceae (such as the genera Tylecodon, Cotyledon and Adromischus), Kalanchoe pinnata has been found to contain bufadienolide cardiac glycosides These can cause cardiac poisoning, particularly in grazing animals.
In traditional medicine, Kalanchoe species have been used to treat ailments such as infections, rheumatism and inflammation. Kalanchoe extracts also have immunosuppressive effects. Kalanchoe pinnata has been recorded in Trinidad and Tobago as being used as a traditional treatment for hypertension and for the treatment of kidney stones in India where is goes by the name of Pather Chat or Paan-futti.
Bufadienolide compounds isolated from Kalanchoe pinnata include bryophillin A which showed strong anti-tumor promoting activity, and bersaldegenin-3-acetate and bryophillin C which were less active. Bryophillin C also showed insecticidal properties.
1. ^ "Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.". USDA GRIN Taxonomy for Plants. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?21076. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
* Arvigo, R. (2001). Rainforest Home Remedies: The Maya Way to Heal Your Body and Replenish Your Soul. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 48–49, 114–15. ISBN 0-06-251637-X.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License