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Family Crassulaceae
Kalanchoe tomentosa Baker

Scientific names Common names
Kalanchoe tomentosa Baker Calanchoe felt (Engl.)
  Chocolate soldier (Engl.)
  Panda bear plant (Engl.)
  Panda plant (Engl.)
  Pussy ears (Engl.)
  Stitch plant (Engl.)
  Velvet leaf (Engl.)
  White lady (Engl.)
Kalanchoe tomentosa Baker is an accepted name. No synonyms are recorded for the name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
INDONESIAN: Kaktus panda.
FINNISH: Nukkaitulehti.
FRENCH: Kalanchoé tomenteux.
POLISH: Zyworodka omszona.

Panda is a perennial and succulent, low-growing herb with stems and leaves densely covered with velvety white hairy covering. Loose rosette of oval leaves are borne on woody stems. Leaves are soft, fleshy, grayish or silvery, oblong-obovate and up to 7 centimeters long; margins have patches of orange on young leaves and dark brown on mature ones, and shallowly crenate towards the upper portion.

- Native to Madagascar.
- Introduced to the Philippines after WWII.
- Grows well in the Baguio area; cultivated as ornamental plant.

- Study of ethanolic extract for secondary metabolites isolated 14 compounds: α-amyrin acetate (1), friedelin (2), glutinol (3), 1-dotriacontanol (4), phytol (5),Stigmasta-7,25-dien-3β-ol (6), β-sitosterol (7), Isorhamnetin (8), 2,3-dihydroxypropyl tetradecanoate (9), eriodictyol (10), gallic acid (11), quercetin (12), kaempferol-3-O-Rutinoside (13) and isovitexin (14). (see study below) (3)
- Study of fresh leaves yielded flavonoid compounds viz., kaempferol (1), kaempferol 3-O-ß-D-glucopyranoside or astralgin (2) and kaempferol-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside or afzelin (3). (see study below) (5)

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Indonesian folk medicine, used for the treatment of fever, infections, rheumatism, and skin diseases. (5)

Antioxidant / Cytotoxic / Antimicrobial: An ethyl acetate fraction showed the most potent radical scavenging on DPPH assay. The n-butanol fraction exhibited the highest cytotoxic activity against tested cell lines. Different crude extracts showed varying antimicrobial activity against most of the specific organisms tested. (see constituents above) (3)
• Toxicity Study: Leaves of Kalanchoe daigremontiana, K. tubiflora, K. fedtschenkoi, K. tomentosa, K. tomentosa X K beharensis and 4 cultivars of K. blossfeldiana were tested for toxicity on 2-week-old Leghorn chicks. Leaves of Kd, Kt, and Kf were toxic to chicks at dosage levels of 8 to 12 mg/g body weight. Kalanchoe tomentosa, Kt X K beharensis and 4 cultivars of Kb were nontoxic at the highest dosage levels tested. Alipathic nitro compounds and cyanogenic glycosides were not detected in any of the species. Alkaloids, nitrates, and soluble oxalates were present only in nontoxic concentrations. (1)
• Flavonoids / Cytotoxicity Against Murine Leukemia Cells / Leaves: Study of fresh leaves yielded flavanoids kaempferol (1), astralgin (2), and afzelin (3). Compounds 1-3 showed cytotoxic activity against P-388 murine leukemia cells with IC50 of 51.8, >100, and 3.32 µg/mL, respectively. The ethyl acetate extract showed strongest cytotoxic activity. (see constituents above) (5)

Toxicity concerns
• A blog reports all plant parts are poisonous if ingested.
When tested for toxicity on 2-week old Leghorn chicks, Kalanchoe tomentosa, K tomentosa X K beharensis, and 4 cultivars of K. blossfeldiana were nontoxic at the highest dosage levels tested. (1)

Ornamental cultivation.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated June 2018
October 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Toxicity of Kalanchoe spp to chicks. / FDA Poisonous Plant Database
Kalanchoe tomentosa / The Plant List
BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE SECONDARY METABOLITES FROM KALANCHOE TOMENTOSA / Mostafa M. Saleh, Mohammed M. Ghoneim, Saeid Kottb, Atef A. El-Hela* / Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research 3 (6) 2014, 136-140
Toxicology Brief: Kalanchoespecies poisoning in pets / Geof Smith, DVM, PhD, DACVIM / Veterinary Medicine: DVM
Flavonoids from the Fresh Leaves of Kalanchoe tomentosa (Crassulaceae) / Lilis Siti Aisyah, Yenny Febriany Yun, Euis Julaeha, Tati Herlina, Achmad Zainuddin, Wawan Hermawan, Unang Supratman,  Hideo Hayashi / Open Chemistry Journal (2015); Vol 2: pp 36-39 / DOI: 10.2174/1874842201502010036

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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