low; drought-hardy; water wise
Tugela Cliff-kalanchoe, Long-flower Kalanchoe
Yellow; autumn to winter (May to June); autumn winter
Sun; semi-shade; rockery gravel; walls; dry soils; sandy soils; slope bank; wildlife insects butterflies butterfly host
cliffs; coastal kzn; bushveld; urban streets
egion:subtropical east coast
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The rare and Vulnerable (SANBI National Red List category) Kalanchoe longiflora (Tugela cliff-kalanchoe, or long-flower kalanchoe), makes a striking picture in mosaics of jade and apple greens and acid yellow flowers in autumn and winter. This groundcover combines beautifully with any aloe species. Stems are unusually quadrangular rather than round, and the leaves are most attractive, with a rounded tip that is bluntly serrated. Acid yellow tubular flowers have four petals at the tips of the tube, arranged in a loosely branched inflorescence, quite striking in full bloom in autumn and winter. Stems do grow long through the season with stems and leaves draping over each other and neighbouring plants, often lying on the ground. So it does look somewhat untidy as the flowering season comes to an end, but this is easy to control; at the end of winter give the plants a light haircut. This little-known member of the Kalanchoe family hails from the Tugela Ferry/ Muden area of KZN. It is a cremnophyte or cliff dweller, so is a perfect plant to grow in containers, rock gardens and retaining walls in both full sun and semi-shade, although leaves will only turn red in full sun. It will tolerate very hot, dry areas but, as with many succulents, produces healthier plants and more flowers with regular water and additions of compost. Plant in rock walls, rockeries, and in the succulent garden.