Kalanchoe rotundifolia

Botanical name Kalanchoe rotundifolia
Other names Nenta
Family Crassulaceae
Dimensions Erect succulent of about 40 cm in height, can grow to 1 m
Description of stem Soft, light yellow-green to grey-green, sometimes pinkish on lower part, erect from a leafy base, opposite leaves along the stem, reducing in size and increasingly further apart on the way up; limited branching at the base occurs
Description of leaves Succulent, round, ovate or obovate, smooth, light green to blue-green, sometimes pink in parts; a whitish bloom is sometimes evident; leaf margins are entire, attenuating at base; in the Gauteng area the round leaf form is rare; the bigger leaves are clustered near the base of the stem
Description of flowers The inflorescence is a panicle of many small tubular, four-petaled, red or orange flowers at the top of the erect central stalk; flowers appear in autumn into the beginning of winter, but some variation occurs with the region;
Desciption of seed/fruit Oblong, four-angled capsule
Description of roots Rather short, fine roots
Variation As sometimes found in plants with a large natural habitat, the plants vary considerably, notably in leaf shape, flower colour and time of flowering
Propagation and cultivation Can be grown from seed, often seeding itself once it is established in an area; the basal leaves tend to form new leaves and form new plants spontaneously, the old basis sometimes persisting and supporting the leaves that sprout new plants in spring; some old plants will survive into a second and third year; cuttings from the base of older plants or the soft tips grow easily in sandy soil, semi-shade and with mild watering
Uses Garden plant suitable for low watering and maintenance conditions, grows well among trees, also in limited sunlight
Ecological rarity Common
Pests and diseases Not under much attack in its natural domain
Other This plant is a danger to livestock, notably goats and sheep, as it contains the same or similar poisonous substances as the Cotyledon species that cause loco disease or nenta
Location Often in colonies close to or in the shade of trees and shrubs; in sandy soil of differing composition
Distribution (SA provinces) Gauteng; Mpumalanga; KZN; North West
Country South Africa; Zimbabwe