Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Desert Cabbage, Paddle Plant, Flapjack Plant, Ice Sculpture Kalanchoe
Kalanchoe thyrsiflora

Family: Crassulaceae (krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Kalanchoe (kal-un-KOH-ee) (Info)
Species: thyrsiflora (thur-SEE-flor-uh) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

33 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Alpines and Rock Gardens
Cactus and Succulents

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is monocarpic
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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By Happenstance
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By palmbob
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There are a total of 21 photos.
Click here to view them all!


9 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive poeciliopsis On Jan 21, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- I have had this plant growing in the ground for over 20 years. The plant was originally in heavy shade and was unhappy. It is now in partial summer shade, mostly full sun in winter and is thriving, blooming yearly. It spreads at moderate speed and I have to cut it back annually. It has survived hard freezes. A freeze of 22 nights in Dec/Jan 2013 damaged it substantially even though covered, but it recovered rapidly.

Positive ilko719 On Nov 6, 2013, ilko719 from Oceanside, CA wrote:

I live in Oceanside,California.I bought this beautiful Desert Cabbage few months ago.I put it outside in full sun,gave water regularly.When I bought it was about 18" tall,now it is 63" tall and still growing.Every place I looked for info about the size it said max.24".Does anybody know exactly how tall this plant can grow.Thank you.

Positive litito On Aug 27, 2012, litito from Gore, OK wrote:

Purchased this for a fish planter I was given as a gift. It has grown fast tripled in size. I want to thank member trickiwoo from texas her comment of success with broken leaves growing is great. My puppy had broken several large leaves trying to get away from the cat. The plant has been on the porch with nearly full sun & infrequent watering.

Positive stygiana On Nov 18, 2010, stygiana from Tijarafe
Spain wrote:

One of my favorite Kalanchoe, compact, low growing and with nice blue colour.
Please, note that all photos except PalmBob's ones are wrong, as they show Kalanchoe luciae. The problem is that almost every book and nursery label K. luciae as K. thyrsiflora, so everybody believes K. thyrsiflora is the species which in reallity is K. luciae...
So read PalmBob's message if you have a doubt and use his photos, they are good and reliable.

Positive trickiwoo On Aug 23, 2009, trickiwoo from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bought this in a 4" pot a year ago. Now fills out a 12' pot with 4 plants in there. About 18" tall & larger leaves measure 7" x 6". May interest y'all to know that when I was potting it up I broke a leaf off & just stuck it in a small pot & now have another plant the size I bought last year. No blooms yet but love the architecture of the plant itself.
When I put mine in full summer sun the leaves took on a wilted look so I put it back under a shade tree so it gets full morning sun & seems real happy. Have also heard this called 'red lips' as the edges take on a red color. Mine do not do that. Think next year I will start it off in full sun & see if it will acclimate to my hot summer sun little by little. Love this plant & want to keep it happy.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Jul 19, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Great looking plant that can take down to about 30F before melting. Slow growing in even large pots,but it gets there in time to a good size with blushing red edged leaves. Two problems i have had-it's a snail and slug magnet and also hard to keep passerby's from picking it to death...

Positive Opoetree On Jul 19, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

I saw this plant growing in a nursery in Carpinteria, California. We bought a small one and have it planted on a landscaped 'island'. We had a very hard freeze last winter and the plant disappeared -- but, it has come back now and hopefully will live to grow and one day bloom (if it doesn't freeze again so hard!!!) We love the architectural shape it displays and the coloring is charismatic.

Neutral palmbob On Nov 27, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Not sure how I feel about this plant anymore since I am not sure what this plant is. Turns out what I thought was this for so many years was Kalanchoe luciae. Kalanchoe thyrsiflora seems to be a much rarer plant with paler, smaller leaves that rarely color up... still has paddle shaped leaves, but not the humongous ones in most of the photos. Still, SO many nurseries misidentify this plant that it seems almost OK to continue to also do the same... but I will try not to. If your plant flowers and has yellow, fragrant flowers, then it probably IS thyrsiflora... however if it has whitish flowers that don't smell like much, then it is indeed luciae. Also, if your plant is large, with many great reds and other colors aside from just white and turquoise it is very unlikely it is this plant. Kalanchoe luciae is a MUCH more common and robust plant and sold everywhere. I have frankly never seen this plant for sale, though I would not be surprised if the Huntington sold it now and then, as they have a pretty nice supply of it.

Now there is tricolor plant in cultivation that also unfortunately is often identified as this plant (it is not). Given the name 'Fantastic', it is quite colorful and a great collector's item... but it is, too, Kalanchoe luciae.

Positive spicerd On Jun 3, 2006, spicerd from Baton Rouge, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This was the first plant I ever picked out for purchase... recently... so, it is a very special friend... now stands guarding one side of the entrance to my house... have managed to propogate two offsets from the main trunk and they're coming along just fine...

Positive nipajo On Apr 11, 2006, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought it in Houston and brought it down here and since that time I have seen it here in Dallas. Mine is doing fine the leaves are turning a pale pinkish red since I have it full sun with some shade.

Neutral lmelling On Jan 26, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Bushy, white-frosted, perennial succulent. Densely covered with oval to inversely lance-shaped, red-margined, pale green leaves, 4-6" long, with blunt rounded tips and leaf pairs united at the bases. In spring, bears panicles of erect to spreading tubular to urn-shaped flowers, fragrant yellow flowers.

Origin South Africa. Increase by offsets.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Carlsbad, California
Clayton, California
Fresno, California
Hayward, California
Livermore, California
Norwalk, California
Oak View, California
Oceanside, California
Richmond, California
San Jose, California
San Marino, California
Santee, California
Simi Valley, California
Walnut, California
Apopka, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Bonita Springs, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Chadwick, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Baker, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Gonzales, Louisiana
Westlake, Louisiana
Southold, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Alvin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
Edna, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Salineno, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Victoria, Texas
Winnsboro, Texas

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