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Margrit's Magic   Gideon F.Sm. & Figueiredo, 2018

Likely parentage: Kalanchoe manginii Raym.-Hamet & H.Perrier and Kalanchoe pubescens Baker


Reference: Smith, G.F., Figueiredo, E. & Mottram, R. 2018. Kalanchoe ‘Margrit’s Magic’ (Crassulaceae), a new cultivar from South Africa. Bradleya 36: 227–232.


This small, shrubby representative of Kalanchoe is in cultivation in South Africa and was described as a cultivar, K. ‘Margrit’s Magic’ Gideon F.Sm. & Figueiredo in 2018. Unlike some similar cultivars, K. ‘Margrit’s Magic’ does extremely well terrestrially, in virtually any soil type, even heavy clays. The cultivar is very cold-hardy and has striking foliage and flowers. Plants are multi-branched, with the branches remaining erect to somewhat leaning. The coin- to heart-shaped leaves of K. ‘Margrit’s Magic’ are borne sub-densely dispersed along the stems and branches. They are bright green with a reddish margin, which becomes more pronounced in full sun. The flowers are uniformly crimson red. The combination of these characters clearly separates this cultivar from other Kalanchoe cultivars.


Description (see Smith et al. 2018 for more detail):

Few- to many-leaved, multi-branched, glabrous or finely pubescent, tuft-forming succulent shrublets, to 60 cm tall, stems brown to reddish brown, older internodes with longitudinal light brownish or greenish stripes, woody, somewhat brittle, sterile and reproductive stems smooth to finely pubescent.


Leaves subsessile to distinctly petiolate, green to variously infused with red, succulent, petiole to 20 mm long, channelled above, not clasping the stem, blade 10–30 × 10–20 mm, obovate to orbicular to cordate or somewhat oblong, flat, curved upwards towards margins, apex rounded-obtuse, base cuneate, margins entire to weakly crenate especially in upper ⅔, minutely pubescent.


Inflorescence 18–20cm tall, a terminal, branched, erect, apically sparse to dense, few- to many-flowered, flat-topped cyme with several dichasia, peduncle bright red, minutely white-hairy, pedicels slender, 8–10 mm long.


Flowers erect to pendent, usually spreading, bright crimson red (tube and lobes), light green at level of calyx, cylindrical to campanulate, calyx light reddish green, strongly infused with small red spots especially towards sepal margins, sepals ± separate, basally fused for ± 1 mm, ± 4–6 × 3–4 mm, triangular-lanceolate, acute-tipped, hardly contrasting against light green basal part of corolla tube, minutely white-hairy, corolla 18–20 mm long, slightly enlarged above the middle, bright crimson red, light green lower down, minutely white-hairy, drying purple-red, corolla tube 16–18 mm long, cylindrical, distinctly 4-angled, box-shaped-square when viewed from below, bright crimson red, light green lower down, minutely white-hairy, lobes 4.5–5.0 × 4.5–5.0 mm, ovate to suborbicular, rounded at apex, apiculate, bright crimson red, stamens inserted at about the middle of the corolla tube, included.


Eponymy. Kalanchoe ‘Margrit’s Magic’ is named for Ms Margrit Bischofberger ([Winterthur, Switzerland] 1942– ), German literature and history graduate and former secondary school teacher, presently of Aadorf, Switzerland, who has been growing and studying cacti and succulents, especially Crassulaceae, for many decades. She has a long-standing involvement in the International Crassulaceae Network.

First published in Bradleya 2018.

Photos Gideon Smith

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