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Beautiful Stranger: Updated

February 19, 2012

Who are you?

Last weekend we made a trip south to Fallbrook’s Mariscal Nursery. The main location of three in Southern California, I thought it would be an inspiring treat. After all, we’d been to their outpost in Desert Hot Springs and loved it (read post here) … I’m sad to say Fallbrook was a disappointment. Although sprawling, the nursery seemed overcrowded and not well-tended. Plus, the two teen girls in attendance weren’t able answer queries about plants beyond prices, deferring to parents who weren’t around. One plant, however, caught our eye …  One of several at the nursery, it had been in place so long it had taken root through the bottom of its plastic pot. I was pretty excited about it because I’d never seen it before … the girls, of course, were unable to provide an I.D. We bought it, cost: $18. We planted it in the spot formerly occupied by our angel’s trumpet, which has been moved elsewhere and it looks great. But what is this plant? Here’s a close look …


Concentrated at the plant’s base,  its leaves are fleshy and thick, possessing the cool-to-the-touch feel of a succulent. Growing downward on burgundy colored stems, the lime green leaves are traced with the same contrasting hue. A serrated edge gives them a claw-like look and a clutching curviness adds to the effect. Tiny leaf clusters gather where the stems branch from the plant’s central trunk. Really cool!

Lanterns overhead

At the plant’s top, the dark stems display little lantern-like flower pods in a pale yellow-green. Each puffy lantern bottom is kissed with a delicate blush pink … those that are opened have curved stamens peeking out like little snake tongues. Tiny buds atop each stem promise more lanterns soon … I’m dying to see what this plant does next!


A closer look at the lantern blooms … Bizarrely beautiful.

 No combination of keywords entered into Google yielded a picture that matched my new plant …  Can you help me identify my new beauty?

UPDATE: That didn’t take long — Matti of Far Out Flora blog has put a name to my plant: Kalanchoe prolifera. Thanks, Matti!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Matti permalink
    February 19, 2012 8:35 pm

    We know that plant, it’s Kalanchoe prolifera. Gorgeous one, and I thought odd too that is a Kalanchoe. Matti

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 19, 2012 8:38 pm

      Matti, how did I know you guys would come through? Thanks so much, I love it even more knowing it’s a a Kalanchoe, too!

      • February 19, 2012 9:30 pm

        We bought it as a weirdo plant down Morro Bay about 2 years ago. Really didn’t know it then, never saw it up in SF. However, I just started seeing it more up here in the Bay Area about 6 months ago. Ours finally flowered this winter. Yeah!

      • reubix1 permalink*
        February 19, 2012 9:33 pm

        Weirdo kalanchoe’s rule! Thanks, Matti

  2. February 20, 2012 2:21 am

    I’m so glad to be reading your posts – especially since I don’t have Mariscal Nursery on my website, It’s a database of nurseries from Ventura thru San Diego Counties. So I’ll be adding them. I love succulents, midcentury and chihuahuas so your website is a treat.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 20, 2012 2:23 am

      Thanks, Susan … I’m glad you’re enjoying the posts!

  3. February 20, 2012 6:12 am

    Since I’ve got a mystery Kalanchoe that needs identifying guess I’d better get a picture off to the Far Out Flora team!

    Great new plant friend!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 20, 2012 6:37 am

      It’s a true beauty, but who knew? It’s a Kalanchoe!

  4. Vickie Perez permalink
    February 20, 2012 6:20 am

    Another beauty… I agree about Mariscal’s, only I didn’t have anyone who spoke English to answer any questions. But he sure knew how to add up my bill. My sister and I went down there a couple of weeks ago. Will be looking forward to seeing the full blown bloom.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 20, 2012 6:38 am

      We’ll definitely be hitting their desert location from now on, Vickie!

  5. Guida permalink
    February 20, 2012 4:28 pm

    We have 5 of those “Box” plants. Our motherplant is in bloom like yours. When we purchased our plant it was standing in water… that’s where we put it, in water, for about a year…..then I read up and it was said to be a desert sort of plant, now they are not in water and we have successfully started children…

    If you come this way and still have my umbrella you could leave it at The Gallery on Glassell in Old Towne Orange. But of course we would love for you to come by our house.

    Some people re-arrange their living room and I do that do but currently re-arranging the back yard. Have a happy day.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 20, 2012 4:30 pm

      Hi, Guida, we were just asking each other how we could your colorful umbrella back to you by the next downpour … our tax guy’s in Huntington Beach so maybe if head up to drop them off we could swing by. I’ll get back to you soon! R

  6. February 21, 2012 10:44 pm

    Nice find! It took us months to figure out what ours was, and then a few more months to remember the name without consulting our flickr archive 🙂

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 21, 2012 10:47 pm

      Well, thanks for all that … I got my answer in record time!


  1. Plant kalanchoe | Infosource7

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