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Family Crassulaceae
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelin.

Scientific name Common names
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelin. Christmas kalanchoe
Kalanchoe coccinea (H.Perrier) Boiteau Flaming Katy (Engl.)
Kalanchoe coccinea var. blossfeldiana (Poelin.) Boiteau Florist kalanchoe
Kalanchoe globulifera var. coccinea H. Perrier Madagascar widow's thrill (Engl.)
  Widow's thrill (Engl.)
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelln. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
DANISH: Koraltop
FINNISH: Tulilatva.
FRENCH: Kalanchoe des fleuristes.
GERMAN: Flammendes katchen.
HINDI: Panphuti, Dhanavantari, Runakalli, Malakkali.
VIETNAMESE: Truong sinh xuan, Bao hi, Song doi

Gen info
- Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a herbaceous and commonly cultivated house plant in the genus Kalanchoe and family Crassulaceae.
- Etymology: Its etymological roots vary. The genus name Kalanchoe derives from 'Kalanchauhuy', a Chinese name for one species recorded by Georg Josepjh Kamel, a botanist and Jesuit missionary to the Philippines.
The Oxford dictionary suggests it is based on the Chinese 'galancai', while Collins English Dictionary suggests it was derived from a local Chinese name for one of the species. The specific epithet blossfeldiana honors the German hybridiser and botanist Robert Blossfed, who introduced the plant to the world in 1932. (12)
- Probably the most popular and widely cultivated of the Kalanchoe species.

Kalanchoe is a succulent, compact herb, growing to a height of 30 to 45 centimeters. Leaves are opposite, obovate, fleshy, sessile, glossy-green, 5 to 10 centimeters long, with slightly crenate or entire margins. Leaf veins are absent or indistinct. Inflorescences are terminal, borne by peduncles higher than the foliage. Flowers are many, red and small, with four petals, grouped in flower heads, borne on long stems, each head having between 20 to 50 flowers.

- Introduced.
- Common garden plant.
- Ornamental cultivation.

- Native to Madagascar.

• Study shows citronellol and geraniol can be obtained from KB.
• Study yielded flavonoids in flowers of 16 Kalanchoe blossfeldiana varieties.
• Phytochemical screening of methanol and water extracts yielded alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, tannin, saponin, resin and phenols.
• Methanol extract of leaves yielded
(1) neophytadiene; (2) palmitic acid; (3) phytol; (4) dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid (DGLA); (5) stearic acid; (6) delta- Tocopherol; (7) beta- Tocopherol; (8) gamma- Tocopherol; (9) vitamin E; (10) dihydrobrassicasterol; (11) γ- sitosterol; (12) lupenyl acetate; (13) friedeland; (14) Trilinolein. (see study below) (9)
• Study of methanol extract of leaves for phenolic compounds yielded 3,3',4',5,7 pentahydroksi flavonorquercetin (1), epigallocatechingallate (2), and gallic acid (3). (15)
- Phytochemical screening of acetone (A), aqueous (Aq), and methanol (M) extracts yielded tannins (A,Aq,M), flavonoids (A,Aq,M), saponins (A,M), carbohydrate (M), cardiac glycosides (Aq), phenols (A,Aq,M), quinones (A), terpenoids (A,Aq,M) and alkaloids (A,Aq,M).  Total flavonoid
content was 1250 µg/ml and phenolic content of 600  µg/ml.

• Considered antiviral, antiseptic, disinfectant.
Poisoning: Report on cattle poisoning attributed to K. blossfeldiana. (see study below) (17)
Studies have shown antiviral, antimicrobial, antiplasmodial, antioxidant, air-purifying, cytotoxicity, anticancer properties.

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.

Anthocyanin: Methyl jasmonate stimulates the formation and the accumulation of anthocyanin in Kalanchoe blossfeldiana.
Antiviral activity of representatives of the family Crassulaceae: A study of antiviral properties of the juice of 11 species of the orpine family, 8 of them belonging to the genera Kalanchoe, showed a high virus neutralizing activity of the juice from 4 Kalanchoe species, including K. blossfeldiana. (3)

Flavonoids in Flowers: K blossfeldiana varieties with orange, pink, red and magenta flowers yielded 3,5-O-B-D-diglucosides of pelargonidin, cyanidin, peonidin, delphinidin, petunidin and malvidin. Pink, red and magenta varieties had relatively high amounts of quercetin based flavonols. (2)
Antiplasmid Potential Against MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Methanolic and aqueous crude extracts of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana were used as medicinal plant for curing agent for reduction of antibiotic resistance genes of P. aeruginosa isolate P9. The effect of MIC of methanolic extract caused a reduction of resistance from 44-100% white the aqueous extract revealed decreasing of resistance from 36-86%. (5)
Antimicrobial / Quorum Sensing-Mediated Bacterial Biofilm Formation: Study investigated the antimicrobial properties of K. blossfeldiana with particular reference to quorum sensing (QS)- mediated biofilm formation. Methanol extract of KB reduced the secretion of virulence factors (protease and pyoverdin). Results showed KB interefered with AHL production which may be responsible for down-regulating QS-mediated production of biofilm and virulence. (7)
Air-Purifying Property / Benzene: In a study of six plants evaluating their ability to remove benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE) and toluene from the air, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana appeared to take up benzene selectively over toluene. (8)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant potential of plant leaf extracts of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana by DPPH and FRAP assays. Methanol and ethanol extracts yielded total phenols (39.99±1.52 and 63.21±0.62 µg gallic acid equivalents/mg extract) and flavonoids (6.47±0.16 & 6.64±0.15 µg quercetin/mg extract), respectively. (9)
Antiplasmodial / Leaves: Study evaluated various extracts of leaves for antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falcifarum. Study isolated a phenolic compound, namely 3,3',4',5,7-pentahydroxyflavone or quercetin (1), and displayed antiplasmodial activity with IC50 3.97x10-2 nM. (10)
Cytotoxicity / Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated the cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities of fresh leaves of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, K. daigremontiana, and K. pinnata. K. blossfeldiana ethanol extract and K. daigremontiana water extract exhibited most potent cytotoxic activity (IC50 <19 µg/mL for HeLa and SKOV-3 cells. Ethanol extract of K. blossfeldiana and K. pinnata showed strongest  antibacterial effects with MIC values of 8.45, 8.45, 0.25, and <33.75 µg/mL for S. aureus, S. epidermis, and E. hirae, respectively. Results suggest K. blossfeldiana extract is a potential candidate for cancer and antibacterial infection treatment. (13)
Anticancer / Human Cervical Carcinoma (HeLa) Cells / Leaves: Study evaluated the cytotoxic activity of K. blossfeldiana leaves on human cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells and its mode of cell death. The KB extract showed IC50 values of 8.28 and 9.63 in RTCA and MTT assay, respectively. There was a significant increase in generation of ROS and depolarization of mitochondria in the dead cell population. The extract also induced cell cycle arrest in S phase. Results suggest KB extract induces necrosis in HeLa cells, a process that is death receptor-mediated, which leads to overproduction of ROS, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cell cycle arrest. (14)
Outbreak of Poisoning in Cattle:
Primarily plant as an ornamental and houseplant, in some countries Kalanchoe species have escape cultivation and can be found in the field. Study reports on an outbreak of poisoning by Kalanchoe blossfeldiana i cattle in the semiarid region of Pernambuco, Brazil. Plant prunings were disposed of in a pasture with shortage of forage. Seventeen cattle had clinical signs of poisoning, and thirteen died 4-5 days after onset of clinical signs. The signs, gross and histological lesions include gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular involvement. Kalanchoe spp. contain cardiotoxic glycosides, and the signs and lesions in the cattle were consistent with toxin poisoning from plants. (17)

- Ornamental garden cultivation.

Updated January 2024 / June 2023 / September 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Methyl jasmonate stimulates the formation and the accumulation of anthocyanin in Kalanchoe blossfeldiana / Saniewski M; Horbowicz M; Puchalski J; Ueda J / Study: 8282 2003 ACTA PHYSIOLOGIAE PLANTARUM 25 (2): 143-149
Flavonoids in flowers of sixteen Kalanchoë blossfeldiana varieties / Allan Holm Nielsen et al / Phytochemistry • Vol 66, Issue 24, Dec 2005, Pages 2829-2835 / doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2005.09.041
Antiviral activity of representatives of the family Crassulaceae / Shirobokov V P et al / Antibiotiki. 1981 Dec;26(12):897-900.
Formation of Anthocyanin in Leaves of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana—a Photoperiodic Response / Marjorie Neyland, Yuk Lin Ng, and Kenneth V. Thimann / Plant Physiol. 1963 Jul; 38(4): 447–451.
Antiplasmid Potential of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Against Multidrug Resistance Pseudomonas aeruginosa / Zirak Faqe Ahmed Abdulrahman / British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 2014; 5(6): pp 177-185
Contraceptive Effect on Male Rats after Administration of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Crassulaceae Plant Aqueous Crude Extract / L. Huacuja, A. M. Puebla, A. Carranco, M. L. Miranda, H. Merchant, A. Reyes and A. Guzman / Advanced Contraceptive Delivery Systems, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1997, pp. 13-21
Antimicrobial properties of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana: a focus on drug resistance with particular reference to quorum sensing-mediated bacterial biofilm formation / Ratul Sarkar, Chaitali Mondal, Rammohan Bera, Sumon Chakraborty, Rajib Barik, Paramita Roy, Alekh Kumar, Kirendra K. Yadav, Jayanta Choudhury, Sushil K. Chaudhary, Samir K. Samanta, Sanmoy Karmakar, Satadal Das, Pulok K. Mukherjee, Joydeep Mukherjee, Tuhinadri Sen / Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology / DOI: 10.1111/jphp.12397
Studies on the Decontamination of Air by Plants / J. J. Cornejo, F. G. Muñoz, C. Y. Ma, A. J. Stewart / Ecotoxicology, August 1999, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 311–320
Compound Profiling in Methanol Extract of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (Flaming katy) Leaves Through GC-MS Analysis and Evaluation of its Bioactive Properties / Vipin Kumar Verma, Shiva Raj Kumar, Kumari Vandana Rani, Neeta Sehgal and Om Prakash* / Global Journal of Advanced Biological Sciences, 2015, 1, 38-49
The Phenolic Compound from Kalanchoe blossfeldiana (Crassulaceae) Leaf and Its Antiplasmodial Activity against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 / Yenny Febriani Yun, Faizal Hermanto, Lilis Siti Aisyah, Tri Reksa Saputra, Arif Rahman Hakim, Ade Kania Ningsih, Tati Herlina, Euis Julaeha, Achmad Zainuddin, and Unang Supratman / Indones. J. Chem., 2016, 16 (2), 156 - 161
Kalancho blossfeldiana / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana / Wikipedia
Biological activities of leaf extracts from selected Kalanchoe species and their relationship with bufadienolides content / Justyna Stefanowicz-Hajduk, Anna Hering, Magdalena Gucwa, Renata Ochocka et al / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2020; 58(1): pp 732-740 / DOI: 10.1080/13880209.2020.1795208 /
PMID: 32715869
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Extract Induces Cell Cycle Arrest and Necrosis in Human Cervical Cancer Cells / Jusstyna Sstefanowicz-Hajduk, Magdalena Gucwa, Adam Hajduk, J Renata Ochocka /  Pharmacognosy Magazine, 2019; 15(66): pp 527-537 / DOI: 10.4103/pm.pm_86_19
Phenolic Compounds from the Leaves of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana(Crassulaceae) Plant / Y Yun, L Aisyah et all
Evaluation of Antioxidant, Antibacterial and Phytochemical Properties of Kalanchoe Pinnata, Kalanchoe Robusta and Kalanchoe Blossfediana / Prabhjot Singh Jassal, Ridhi Joshi, Monika Sharma / Think India Journal, 2019; 22(16) / ISSN: 0971-1260
An outbreak of poisoning by Kalanchoe blossfeldiana in cattle in northeastern Brazil
/ F S Mendonca, N C F Nascimento, V M Almeida et al / Tropical Animal Health and Production, 2018; 50: pp 693-696 /
DOI: 10.1007/s11250-017-1465-7

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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