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Mother of Thousands

XY and I have wondered for a while about these plants growing in our courtyard. A neighbor lady brought another one over in a small pot this weekend, and she said she’d heard it called the Mother of Thousands.

Yup. A quick Internet search reveals it’s also known as the Mexican Hat Plant, the Devil’s Backbone and Kalanchoe daigremontiana. Google indexes a bunch of pictures but I like the one I took back in March:

Blossoms, Some Withered

This show the fantastic blooms that this plant eventually produces, but you can’t see the Seussian body, which can become quite large, even grotesque. It dies after it blooms.

I think it’s called Mother of Thousands because it reproduces itself with great enthusiasm. In fact it is a bit of a pest. It might be poisonous.

Here’s some more pictures I just took:

Mother Above


Published inEcologyOur HousePix


  1. joshua joshua

    this plant is also poisness

    Poisonous parts
    Leaves, stems

    Devil’s-backbone contains a cardiac glycoside that has caused experimental toxicity and death in chicks and mice. Several other species of Kalanchoe may be found growing as houseplants in Canada & the USA. Tests have shown that some of them may also contain toxic compounds and so caution should be exercised with all Kalanchoe species

  2. Tom Tom

    I’m looking for these plants for an indoor garden for my wife, I grew some when I was in the 4th grade and remember how they grew. I’d love to get a few. you can send them snail mail to me. I will provide address if you like later.

  3. Alas, our home in New Orleans was flooded and all those plants were killed by the brackish water.

  4. debra debra

    I have a ton of these plants if anyone wants some

  5. Paul Paul

    Would love to get babies of mother of thousands if anyone can still help.

  6. Katherine Belcher Katherine Belcher

    To Paul who wanted babies of mother of thousands. I have loads of the babies and running out of room to keep them. I would love to share them with anybobdy that wants them.

  7. Terry Lynn Terry Lynn

    Hi Katherine, if you’d like to mail a few babies up to New York, I’d be glad to provide a good home for them! I had fun growing them as a child and would love to have some again!

  8. If you have any mother of thousand seeds please let me know what I need to do to receive some.


  9. I had this plant for many years, we had a freak freeze and it died. I have been looking for it for many years. If you have a baby one, i would love to have it. Thank you

  10. Terry Lynn Terry Lynn

    Hi everybody, I was able to finally locate a “mother of thousands” plant last fall and it is now making lots of babies! If any of you want seeds, please send me your mailing address. You can reach me at You too, B! I’d be happy to help you rebuild your plant arsenal!

  11. betty martin slovak betty martin slovak

    katrina i have been trying to find u your father is my uncle

  12. Joseph Joseph

    If anyone has some babies I would like to start one of these plants! Please contact me at jhrabak (at) gmail (dot) com.

    I can mail you a couple leaves from a jade plant in return. you can pot them up and grow a plant from them.

  13. betty martin slovak betty martin slovak

    katrina couto contact me i am you cousin 214-339-3674

  14. Misty Misty

    I love this plant..and it does live up to it’s name..I have one and I also have many, many babies..I am now giveing them away..but this is a great plant and pretty easy to take care of..but keep in mind that they grow big..and you have to keep the pot growing with them..and a useful and beautiful trick I have to make and plant a little ladder so that you can weave the plant threw it..and it helps it stand straight and it just looks good weaved through and through..

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