Plant ID forum: Kalanchoe luciae vs. thyrsiflora, help investigate controversy

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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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May 28, 2016 6:32 PM CST
The subject of these articles:
n another bit of horticultural confusion, the plant long grown in the California succulent trade under the name of Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is actually the cloesly related Kalanchoe luciae. First described in 1908 by Raymond Hamet, the specific epitet is to honor a Lucy Dufour. In March-April 2001 issue of the Cactus and Succulent Journal this confusion of names is discussed in an article by John Trager with a picture of the true Kalanchoe thyrsiflora. The article notes that:

"The plant commonly distributed under this name [Kalanchoe thyrsiflora], sometimes with the whimsical common name - coined by one enterprising nurseryman - of "flipping flapjacks" is in fact the related K. luciae ssp. luciae. Both species bear the fleshy, paddle-like, obovate leaves to which the common name refers. Those of K. luciae blush deep red, especially with cool winter temperatures. Those of K. thyrsiflora are more uniform chalky green or white, covered with a thick flour-like coating of wax. The flowers of the two species also differ. Those of K. luciae are not strongly scented and have an urnceolate flower tube with pale-yellow lanceolate corolla lobes. Those of K. thyrsiflora are heavily sweet scented with a cylindric flower tube and brilliant yellow broadly obovate lobes."

San Marcos Growers has grown Kalanchoe luciae since 1999 under the incorrect name of K. thyrsiflora. In our 2005 catalog we have corrected this error. As the true Kalanchoe thyrsiflora is an exceptionally attractive plant itself, we are also building stock on it with the intention of growing both Kalanchoe thyrsiflora and Kalanchoe luciae in the future."

(click to read it at the source/see the pics:)

Similar article, partial paste:
A frequent error in identification is often made between Kalanchoe luciae and Kalanchoe thrysiflora, especially prevalent in the USA and Europe but rearing its head locally as well:

The two species are closely related, both species having fleshy, paddle-like leaves but the leaves of Kalanchoe thyrsiflora are a chalky green with red colouring only if very stressed, are somewhat narrower, grow up the main stem and are liberally coated with a thick flour-like wax. The leaves of Kalanchoe luciaโ€‹ are rounded, have a broad red edge, cluster close to each other at ground level and have no floury coating on mature leaves. The flowers of the two species also differ. Those of Kalanchoe luciae are only mildly scented and have an urn-shaped flower tubes with greenish-yellow petals, while those of Kalanchoe thyrsiflora are heavily sweetly scented with a cylindrical flower tube and bright yellow petals."

Full article:

Other sources with descriptions:

What are your thoughts? TIA!

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Name: Baja
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Sep 13, 2016 9:21 AM CST
There is a very longstanding confusion in the marketplace about these plants. You can basically assume that any plant for sale labeled as K. thyrsiflora is in fact K. luciae. The difference is most apparent between the flowers of the two species. The former plant is quite rare in cultivation, the latter quite common.

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