Palm Beachbells
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Palm Beachbells
P Introduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Palm Beachbells, Tree of Life, Sprouting Leaf, Sprout Leaf Plant, Miracle Leaf, Leaf of Life, Good Luck Leaf, Giant Kalanchoe, Donkey ear
Botanical name: Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri    Family: Crassulaceae (Sedum family)
Synonyms: Bryophyllum gastonis-bonnieri, Kalanchoe adolphi-engleri

Palm Beachbells is a fast growing perennial or biennial fleshy with erect stems, usually branched only from the base, the whole plant is hairless. Leaves are ovate-lanceshaped, pointed tapered into a short, wide stalk, large and often enormous, from 15 to 50 cm long, but only 5-8 cm broad. At first upright, then bent and touching the ground with their end. Light green to bronze-green covered with a waxy white powder when young to look overall grey-green and splotched with maroon-brown blotches. Margins are heavily jagged, sawtooth-like. These leaves often have small plantlets (bulbils) developing along the leaf margin near the the tip. These bulbils take root without leaving the leaf blade that feeds them like a runners. At the time of flowering, all the leaves starts drying and bending downward. Flowers are borne at the top of the stem, in a compact large cyme, on a stalk 60-90 cm tall branching near the top with several clusters of hanging flower-buds. Flowers are about 5 cm long. Buds are pale peach-colored darkening and becoming the calyces holding the, yellowish-green or darker reddish-salmon petals with flared tips and yellow interior. Filaments are almost white with yellow anthers. Flowers of K. Gastonis-Bonnieri are similar to those of Kalanchoe pinnata but are smaller, and the sepal-cupes are less inflated. Palm Beachbells is native to Madagascar, cultivated worldwide.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju, J.M. Garg Photographed in cultivation in Delhi.

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