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HUMILIS  Britten, 1871

Type : H. Waller s.n., Morrumbala, Prov. Zambézia, Mozambique.

Distribution : Eastern and south-tropical Africa.


Description (by Gideon F. Smith, 2020) :

Perennial, small, low-growing, glabrous, much-branched from a somewhat rhizomatous base, leafy shoots tuft-like becoming trailing, with a rosulate appearence, succulent, to 5 cm tall.

Branches thin, leaning, creeping or trailing, weak, purplish green, internodes 2 - 10 mm long.

Leaves few to many, erect to patent-erect to spreading, succulent, subsessile to sessile, light green to bluish sea-green, densely and irregularly reddish-blotched depending on age and exposure to insolation, bloom not waxy, petiole absent or t 5 mm long, blade 1 - 4 x 1 - 3 cm, upper surface flat or convex, lower surface convex, obovate to spatulate, base narrow, cuneate, apex ending in a rounded tooth, margins irregularly toothed with small crenations in upper half, reddish-infused, more rarely concolorous.

Inflorescence a diffuse, terminal, branched, rather few-flowered cyme, 8 - 15 cm tall, erect to leaning to one side, persistent for a long time once dry, peduncle light green to light green infused with purple, pedicels 4 - 5 (-8) long.

Flowers 4 - 6.5 mm long, flower base abruptly attached to pedicel, not basally stipitate, distinctly opening, light green (base of tube) to very light purple (upper part of tube) with a network of purple veins, calyx purple, sepals 1 - 1.5 mm long, apically slightly to strongly curved away from the corolla tube which is 4 - 5 mm long, rounded-4-angled, basally slightly inflated, petals 1 - 2.5 x 1 - 2 mm.

Note :

Kalanchoe humilis and K. prasina  occur sympatrically in eastern and south-tropical Africa. K. humilis is in all respects a smaller species than K. prasina. The two species differ mainly in

- the size and the coloration of the leaves which are rather reddish-blotched and obovate to spatulate (K. humilis) and not purplish-blotched  and not near-orbicular to somewhat paddle-shaped in anthesis (K. prasina),

- the length of the inflorescence and

- the shape of the flowers which in K. humilis are basally abruptly attached to the pedicel, while those of K. prasina are distinclty stipitate basally.

A clone from Ribauè district, Mozambique, displaying especially colourful leaves in winter :

Photos Jacquie Koutsoudis

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