Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Foliage Friday: Kalanchoe Tomentosa

I'm a sucker for Kalanchoe of all kinds.  I particularly love the common, old-fashioned K. blossfeldiana, but since this is Friday, I thought I'd share a photo of the Panda plant, more formally known as Kalanchoe tomentosa.

Kalanchoe tomentosa
"Tomentosa" means woolly, and that certainly describes this little succulent.  Its leaves are covered with fine, soft hairs, giving it a furry appearance. Panda plant is native to Madagascar and only gets about 18" tall.  It's tender, so bring it inside during the winter.  They are said to tolerate full sun, but here in zone 9A, I think it does better with a bit of protection from the afternoon summer sun.  Like any succulent, it prefers a well-draining soil and cannot tolerate overwatering.

Kalanchoes are related to the Jade plants, and can be propagated the same way: carefully detach a leaf from the main plant and nestle it about an eighth of an inch down in some good-quality potting medium.  In about four weeks,  you may have a little baby panda!

By the way, I have heard that the proper pronunciation of this plant is "kallan-COE-ee."  I have to confess, in my family we stubbornly continue to say "kuh-LAWN-cho."  This is what happens when you learn plant names from books!  Here's a link to Fine Gardening's Online Pronunciation Guide.  What do they think YOU mispronounce?


  1. Great lesson and like the online pronunciation guide. Clematis. That is the one everybody has a different pronunciation.

  2. Here's another one, GWGT: Liriope. In my world, it doesn't rhyme with "calliope," but I think it's really supposed to! Thanks for the comment!

  3. A lot of the little South African succulents like some shade. In nature they grow in the shade of bigger bushes. I wonder what this plant's surroundings look like at home in Madagascar? Sub-tropical?

  4. I've finally caught up on your back posts. I hope your allergies are better now. I feel fortunate that ragweed is not one that affects me! Love the panda plant. I used to have some of that ... I should look for it again!

  5. I never realized it was pronounced that way! Kalanchoes will soon bloom here and I've cleaned my containers. I have three of them but I don't know the cultivars. Plants are not tagged here so names are a little difficult.I haven't seen the one you've posted. The foliage is interesting.