Plantlets on kalanchoe leaves

David Hershey dh321z at
Tue Oct 22 20:34:02 EST 2002

They are variously termed adventitious plantlets,
viviparous plantlets, epiphyllous buds, epiphytic
buds, and pseudobulbils. The most studied species is
probably Kalanchoe daigremontiana, formerly
Bryophyllum daigremontianum. I recently wrote a
teaching article on using plantlet formation to study

Hershey, D.R. 2002. Using the Kalanchoe daigremontiana
plant to show the effects of photoperiodism on
plantlet formation. Science Activities 39(2): 30-34. 

The common houseplant, piggyback plant (Tolmiea
menziesii), forms a single plantlet per leaf. Some
waterlilies are termed viviparous because they form
plantlets on their leaves. Several species form
plantlets on leaf cuttings, among them African violet
(Saintpaulia spp.) and other gesneriads such as
Streptocarpus, snake plants (Sansevieria spp.),
Begonia rex, some Peperomia spp., and Sedum spp. and
some other succulents. 

An interesting exception to the general rule that
asexual propagation results in cloning is leaf
cuttings of  variegated snake plants such as
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' which is a
periclinal chimera that has yellow leaf edges. It
forms nonvariegated plants when propagated by leaf

David R. Hershey

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Monique Reed <monique at>
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2002 11:09 AM
Subject: Plantlets on kalanchoe leaves

> I'm having a brain lapse, and this seems to be the
sort of thing you
> can't look up unless you know what it's called.
> What is the term for the production of tiny
plantlets on the edges of
> the leaves?  There are several species of Kalanchoe
which do this, as
> well as some Begonias, I think.
> Monique Reed
> Bio Dept.
> Texas A&M

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