The Genus Kalanchoe (Crassulaceae) in Ecuador: From Gardens to the Wild

Plants (Basel). 2022 Jun 30;11(13):1746. doi: 10.3390/plants11131746.


The genus Kalanchoe, mostly indigenous from Madagascar and Tropical Africa, is widely traded for ornamental value. In this study, we provided an updated list of wild and cultivated Kalanchoe taxa in Ecuador; we analyzed the temporal-spatial pattern of their records, and we categorized the invasion status for each taxon and its environment preferences. The records of any taxa belonging to this genus were compiled from an extensive search using various information sources. Our results confirmed the presence of 16 taxa of Kalanchoe in the country. Seven species and a hybrid were detected in the wild. Kalanchoe densiflora, K. laxiflora, K. pinnata, K. tubiflora, and K. ×houghtonii were categorized as invasive. We detected invasive records of some of these plants in protected areas. Almost all taxa had at least one record as cultivated, suggesting that the invasion pathway is ornamental trade. Kalanchoe pinnata individuals in the wild were recorded in the four biogeographic regions of Ecuador, which could be associated with the wide range of precipitations and temperatures in which the species may dwell. Our study highlights the importance of reducing the ornamental value and limiting the use of Kalanchoe taxa with invasive potential in horticulture and promoting, instead, the use of indigenous species.

Keywords: Bryophyllum; Galapagos Islands; biological records; invasive alien species; protected areas.