Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelln.

Last updated: 27 April 2016

Scientific Name

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelln. 


Kalanchoe globulifera var. coccinea H. Perrier [1]

Vernacular Name

English Christmas kalanchoe [2], florist’s kalanchoe, palm beach bells, Madagascar widow’s-thrill [3].

Geographical Distributions

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a native of Madagascar. It has been introduced into Europe during the 1920s. [4]

Botanical Description

K. blossfeldiana is a member of the Crassulaceae family. It is a succulent, perennial, herbaceous plant that can reach a height to 30 cm. [4]

The leaves are oblong or ovate-oblong, crenate and often with red margins. [4]

The flowers are numerous, regular, bisexual and usually scarlet, but, colours may be variable based on cultivars. [4]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

Whole plant. [2]


Cardiotoxic bufadienolides which are C24 steroids of triterpenoid origin. [2]

Risk management

This plant should be kept away from children for fear of poisoning. It can also affect pets and livestock. [3]

Poisonous clinical findings

Within are few hours of ingestion, victims will experience depression, loss of interst in food and water, excessive salivation and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea would eventually become bloody and mucoid. There may be tachycardia, intermittent drooling and laboured respiration with expiratory grunting if sufficient plant material is consumed. [3]


Patients without symptoms should be decontaminated by inducing emesis and giving activated charcoal. This is followed by monitoring for the development of gastrointestinal signs. When they appear, they should be managed accordingly. Fluid replacement therapy may be necessary. [2]

Cardiac arrhythmia is often present and should be treated accordingly viz. bradycardia with atropine and tachycardia with beta-blockers. Correction of electrolyte imbalance especially hyperkalaemia is important. Complications resulting from cardiac failure include pulmonary oedema, renal failure and ascites, should be treated when encountered. [2]

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poelln. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2016 Apr 26]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-8900007
  2. Peterson ME, Talcott PA. Small animal toxicology. 3rd ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2013; p. 499, 504-506.
  3. Burrows GE, Tyrl RJ. Toxic plants of North America. Ames, Iowa: John Wiley & Sons, 2013; p. 380-384.
  4. Hickey M, King C. 100 families of flowering plants. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988; p. 179.