ISI 2003-32. Kalanchoe ‘Hybrida’ variegated

The ubiquitous florist’s kalanchoe, K. blossfeldiana may be what comes to mind when hybrids in this genus are mentioned. However, the original K. ‘Hybrida’ is a cross of two other well-known and somewhat notorious Madagascan species: K. daigremontiana and K. tubiflora. The source of their notoriety is the fact that both species produce prodigious numbers of vegetative bulbils on the leaf margins. These take root wherever they fall and can become pests in the garden. Naturally, the hybrid shares this feature. However, the variegated form of K. ‘Hybrida’ has beautifully colored leaves variegated in cream or pink and green, a chimera of genetically distinct tissues. The vegetative bulbils along the leaf margins are produced by the cream-colored tissue that lacks chlorophyll. As a result these fail to root when separated from the parent plant, making this form non-invasive and easily managed. Rooted cuts of HBG 89184. $5.

Correction, published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal Vol. 78 (2), March - April, 2006

According to Steve Jankalski, this is a variegated sport of Kalanchoe daigremontiana × K. delagoensis, a cross made by A. Houghton and listed in one of Johnson’s catalogs as K. ‘Houghton’s Hybrid’. Jankalski has suggested a name, published here, for the variegated sport distributed as ISI 2003-32: Kalanchoe ‘Pink Sparkler’.

Correction, published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal Vol. 79 (2), March - April, 2007

Last year we published a new name for this plant that Steve Jankalski pointed out was a variegated form of K. ‘Houghton’s Hybrid’ (K. daigremontiana × K. delagoensis). Gordon Rowley brought to my attention Harry Mak’s Photo Album of Succulents, Vol. 3 (2003) in which I noticed that Mak had already named this cultivar K. ‘Pink Butterflies’, a fitting allusion to the appearance of the plantlets that line the leaf margins. See photo. This name has priority over Jankalski’s K. ‘Pink Sparkler’.

Photo © 2003 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 75 (2), March - April, 2003