Kalanchoe rotundifolia is a brittle succulent plant which grows up to 1m tall under favourable conditions. Adanson who derived the name Kalanchoe from the Chinese name for one of the species, described this genus in 1763. The species name rotundifolia comes from the Latin and means "round leaves".It is a common, orange-flowering species with a slender stem. It has fleshy, rounded or lobed leaves that are 2.5cm broad and are clustered at the base of erect stems. It must be noted that some of these plants, although with the species name rotundifolia, have leaves that are not round. They were grouped together because they had other similarities. The genus Kalanchoe typically has a tubular flower. Flowers are borne in an inflorescence with a long erect stalk. The flat-topped inflorescence consists of yellow or orange flowers and often become red and conspicuously twisted when old. The flowering period occurs through autumn and early winter (February until June).
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is widely distributed in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
It is a delightful little plant that puts up a brave show in clumps among trees and shrubs. The robust red flowering specimens are rewarding garden plants, flowering for many weeks.
Kalanchoe rotundifolia is traditionally used by the Zulu as a charm to make one invisible.