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Origin and Habitat: Kalanchoe manginii is endemic to the granite massif of Andringitra in central-southern Madagascar.
Altitude range: Up to 2.000 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: This species grows on rocky arid slopes.
Kalanchoe manginii Raym.-Hamet & H.Perrier
Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. IX, 16: 370 1912
Kalanchoe manginii var. triploidea Boiteau & Mannoni
Cactus (Paris) 15-16: 40 1948. (nom. inval., Art. 33.2)
- Kalanchoe manginii var. triploidea Boiteau & Mannoni
- Bryophyllum manginii var. triploideum (Boiteau & Mannoni) Nothdurft
ENGLISH: chandelier plant, manginii kalanchoe, beach bells, Madagascar wax-bells
CHINESE (中文): 提燈花
PORTUGUESE (Português): cacto-pendente
RUSSIAN (Русский): Каланxоэ Мангина
Description: Kalanchoe manginii is a perennial, decorative succulent up to about 30-40 cm tall and wide, which forms small bushes of thin, woody arching stems with rounded, glossy leaves. It will produce its delightful salmon-red hanging bell-shaped flowers in spring. Boiteau & Mannoni described variety triploidea Boit. & Mann, for natural, triploid plants with larger flowers.
Derivation of specific name: The species name honours the French botanist Louis Alexandre Mangin (1852-1937).
Stems: Several slender, erect, arching or creeping, reddish, semi-woody; vegetative stems covered by glandular hairs, flowering stems mostly glabrous.
Leaves: Opposite, very fleshy, persistent, almost sessile (without petiole), of a rather variable shape, orbicular, oblong, obovate or spatulate (spoon-shaped), 1-3 cm long, 0,5-1,5 cm broad and up to 8 mm thick, base tappereded, at times covered by a thin down when young, becoming glabrous. Margin entire or rarely 1-3 weak notches at the apex.
Inflorescences: Terminal, open panicle-shaped on a short, glabrous or sparsely hairy scape carrying sparse, drooping flowers (usually 1-5). Flowering branches 10-40 cm long. Adventitious buds are produced in the inflorescence and as the blooms fade the flower heads can become crowded with tiny plantlets.
Flowers: Tubular urn-shaped with reddish green. Calyx 1-1,5 cm long, with oblong and pointed lobes, 6.5-9 mm long, 2.4-3.5 mm broad, green to green-reddish, glandular-hairy. Pedicels 7-10 mm long green to dark purple, covered by glandular hairs. Corolla narrowly urceolate-quadrangular, from orange red to bright red, with a 2-2,8 cm long tube and four ovate lobes, about 3-7 mm long, 4.5-5.5 mm broad. Filaments fused to corolla for 5-9 mm. Anthers reniform, ca. 6 mm long. Style 14 - 17 mm long. The anthers and styles project beyond the petals.
Blooming season: Winter-spring.
Fruits: The fruits are follicles containing several oblong seeds about 0.9 mm long.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) RHS “A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants.” United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008.
2) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae” Springer Science & Business Media, 06 December 2012
3) Werner Rauh “Succulent and xerophytic plants of Madagascar”, Volume 1 Strawberry Press, 1995
4) James Cullen “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11 August 2011
5) Jacobsen, “Handbook of succulent plants” 2: 653 1960
6) Hamet & Marnier-Lapostolle, “Le genre Kalanchoe au Jardin Botanique Les Cedres,” f. 124, 125 1964
7) Jacobsen, “Das Sukkulentenlexikon”, p1. 41 1981
Cultivation and Propagation: Kalanchoe manginii is very easy to culture and makes an interesting blooming potted plant and is rewarding as indoor plant. As the minimum temperature for growth is 10 °C, in temperate regions this plant must be grown under glass as a houseplant. Its tolerance of low moisture conditions makes it also ideal for groundcover use, rock gardens, raised planters, or containers. It's grown primarily for its flowers. They'll even bloom in low light, making them good for indoor dish gardens.
Growth rate: Its growth rate has been described as 'slow'.
Potting mix: Use a soil based potting mixture with the addition of a small amount of coarse sand, pumice or lava grit to ensure good drainage. They grow best in clay pots for aeration and need drainage holes in the bottom. Setting the container on a dish filled with rocks or gravel provides extra drainage.
Exposure: Keep this plant out of strong, direct sunlight; although exposure to the morning sun is fine. The kalanchoe is best kept in a shady setting. In the home it should be grown in sunny window. Flower formation is stimulated by very short photoperiods. When growing kalanchoe in containers, they can be boosted to produce more buds and flowers by giving them 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day.
Repotting; Plants that are not to be discarded should be moved each spring into pots one size larger. The maximum pot size needed should be about 12 cm.
Watering: It needs moderate watering in autumn and spring while in summer it should be watered thoroughly and allowed to dry before watering again. In winter give only occasional watering (only when the plant starts shrivelling), but it will generally grow even in winter if given water. These plants will survive on neglect, but have the tendency to become abnormally gross and flabby if they are overwatered. Over-watering is the most common cause of plant failure. Avoid using cold water when watering plants because it could shock the plant.
Fertilization: From the end of spring to the beginning of autumn, feed the plant with a monthly dose of fertiliser. Pruned plants may be given a dose of full strength fertilising as a boost.
Frost resistance: Kalanchoe manginii grow well in normal room temperatures. It is native to Madagascar and will bloom at temperatures of between 15 and 16 degrees Celsius. Avoid temperatures below 5°C because they can kill the plant after a few hours.
Maintenance: This species holds the blooms on for many weeks and after the blooms lose their luster, is usually discarded. However, if it is pruned back hard and given spell in the garden, it will flower again next season. Pinch off the faded flowers and continue to pinch the tips of the plants for a few more months to promote a bushy plant. If not pruned the plants become leggy and need to be replaced.
Propagation: It is propagated by removal of tip cuttings and adventitious buds that are produced in the inflorescence in spring and root them in 8 cm pots filled with a mixture of peat moss and sand. Pot pots in a warm position in bright filtered light. Water the mixture whenever the top 1-2 cm dries out. When roots have formed and new growth appears, move each young plant into a pot of standard mixture. It grows easily roots and new plants are ready within months.
Warning: Parts of Kalanchoe manginii are poisonous if ingested. All members of Kalanchoe are toxic for livestock, birds and small animals. Dogs are reported to be particularly sensitive to the cardiotoxic effects of Kalanchoe.
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