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Plantgasm - I love plants too much. By Derek Powazek.

Word of the Day: Viviparous

Kalanchoe houghtoniiViviparous plants generate offspring while attached to the parent. In other words, little plants develop on the main plant. When they’re ready, they fall off and root where they land.

A great example of a viviparous plant gets its name from this very trait. Mother-of-Thousands is a succulent that drops so many kids it’s considered invasive in some places.

The plant pictured here is Kalanchoe Houghtonii which was given to me by Friend of Plantgasm Joe Mud a couple years ago. Since then it’s created hundreds, perhaps thousands, of baby plants. Viva viviparous!

Kalanchoe houghtonii

Previously in Word of the Day: Cotyledon and Monocarpic.

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6 Responses

I’ll trade you a couple viviparous fruity “pink butterfly” kalanchoe babies for one of your Houghtonii babes. Not sure if ours is currently pregnant though…

Posted by Megan on 8 March 2011 @ 1pm

These plants continue to fascinate me, even though I don’t grow this particular species in the house any more. Plants do the most marvelous things…

Posted by jodi (bloomingwriter) on 8 March 2011 @ 2pm

Derek- you beat me to the punch! I had planned to write a post soon on pseudo-vivipary, inspired by a book I was reading recently. Well, maybe I’ll link back to your post… :)

Posted by Zach on 9 March 2011 @ 7am

Thanks for the lesson in terms. I have had this plant before though not at present. It is rather weedy looking by itself. A patch would be nice.

Posted by Mother Nature's Garden on 9 March 2011 @ 8am

Thank you for the Plantgasm WoTD, I love the otherworldly language of plants but normally find it a bit overwhelming. Plantgasm makes it so much more fascinating.

Posted by myla kent on 10 March 2011 @ 7pm

OoOOh. I just discovered this site and I have at least one VIVIPAROUS plant. Yay. I’ve been accumulating succulents (love them!) but I don’t know what any of them are. Always wanted to catalog them! Pics here.

Posted by Amy B. on 25 March 2011 @ 11am


Plantgasm is where Derek Powazek chronicles his botanical antics and misadventures. More.