HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Crassulaceae
Kalanchoe tomentosa Baker

Scientific names Common names
Bryophyllum triangulare Blanco Calanchoe felt (Engl.)
Kalanchoe tomentosa Baker 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 specie. KEW: Plants of the World Online

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

Gen info
- Kalanchoe tomentosa, also known as pussy ears or panda plant, is a succulent plant in the genus Kalanchoe.  It has many cultivars: Chocolate Soldier, Gold Girl, Black Tie, Teddy Bear.
- It has received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. (6)

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.

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

- Native to Madagascar.

- 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)
- Study of leaves isolated a cytotoxic bufadienolidic glycoside:
3β-(4′,6′-dideoxy-β-arabino-hexopyranosyloxy)-2β-acetoxy-5β,14β-dihydroxy-19-oxobufa-20,22-dienolide. (see study below) (7)

- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxicity, anti-leukemic properties.

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Indonesian folk medicine, used for the treatment of fever, infections, rheumatism, and skin diseases. (5) Used for abscesses, bruises, contused wounds, cough. (8)

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)
• Bufadienolides / Leaves: Bufadienolides are a group of polyhydroxy C-24 steroids and their glycosides. Range of biological properties includes cytotoxic, antitumor, and cardiotonic activities. Study of leaves isolated a cytotoxic bufadienolidic glycoside, Kalachoside, 3β-(4′,6′-dideoxy-β-arabino-hexopyranosyloxy)-2β-acetoxy-5β,14β-dihydroxy-19-oxobufa-20,22-dienolide. (7)
• Cytotoxicity Against P-388 Murine Leukemia Cells / Flavonoids / Leaves: Methanolic extract of fresh leaves was concentrated and extracted successively with n-hexane, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol. The ethyl acetate extract exhibited strongest cytotoxic activity against P-388 murine leukemia cells. Column chromatography yielded a kaempferol-3-O-glycoside (1) and kaempferl-3-O-rhamnoside (2).  Compounds 1 and 2 showed cytotoxic activity against P-388 murine leukemia cells with IC50 of >100  µg/mL and IC50 of 3.32 µg/mL, respectively. (8)

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 October 2023 / 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 / KEW: Plants of the World Online
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, 2014; 3(6): pp 136-140 / eISSN: 2279-0594 / pISSN: 2589-8752
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
Kalanchoe tomentosa / Wikipedia
Bufadienolides of Kalanchoe species: an overview of chemical structure, biological activity and prospects for pharmacological use / Joanna Kolodziejczyk-Czepas, Anna Stochmal / Phytochemistry Reviews, 2017; 16(6): pp 1155-1171 / PMID: 29200987 / DOI: 10.1007/s11101-017-9525-1
Flavonoid Compounds From The Leaves Of Kalanchoe Tomentosa And Their Cytotoxic Activity Against P-388 Murine Leukemia Cell / Lilis Siti Aisyah et al / Akta Kimia Indonesia, 2016; 1(1) /
DOI: 10.12962/j25493736.v1i1.1413


DOI: 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. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a medicinal plant, native or introduced, to suggest for inclusion, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT