Mother of Thousands, or Plant of Thousands is becoming invasive!

The picture below is of a very young Kalenchoe daigremontiana plant.  This plant is found in the Crassulaceae family.  The same plant family Jade plants belong to.  Members of this succulent family prefer dry, arid conditions.  The Tucker greenhouse Mother of Thousands plants are living and spreading quite rapidly in the Desert room.

Mother of Thousands plant

Mother of Thousands plant-Kalenchoe diagremontiana.  Crassulaceae family

Why are these plants spreading so rapidly?  Because they vegetatively propagate themselves by making clones of themselves.  The picture below shows an older plant which is now producing tiny baby clones on the margins of its leaves.  If you look closely, you’ll even see the tiny roots that have formed.  These tiny clones simply fall off of the mother plant at some point, drop to the ground and take root where they land.

IMG_4262

I’m featuring this plant today because it is also in full bloom. The Mother of Thousands produces a branched inflorescence, complete with campanulate (bell-shaped) flowers of a beautiful pinkish-salmon color.

IMG_4279

I always want to explore the features of every flower I see, so of course, the last picture is one showing a dissected flower from the inflorescence.  The Crassulaceae or Stone Crop family typically has flowers with 4-5 petals, 4-5 sepals, 4-10 stamens, 4-5 distinct pistils. This family is largely comprised of herbs to shrubs which are largely succulent. Most genera in the family are native to Africa, Madagascar, and Asia.

IMG_4273