Bryophyllum pinnatum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

1, upper part of stem; 2, inflorescence; 3, flower in longitudinal section. (Achmad Satiri Nurhaman)

Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lamk) Oken

Protologue: Allg. Naturgeschichte Vol. III(3): 1966 (1841).


  • Cotyledon pinnata Lamk (1786),
  • Bryophyllum calycinum Salisb. (1805),
  • Kalanchoe pinnata (Lamk) Pers. (1805).

Vernacular names

  • Life plant, floppers (En).
  • Brunei: bendingin, serigen
  • Indonesia: daun sejuk (Malay, Palembang), buntiris (Sundanese), sosor bebek (Javanese)
  • Malaysia: sedingin, seringin, setawar padang
  • Philippines: karitana (Bisaya), abisrana (Iloko), katakataka (Tagalog).
  • Burma (Myanmar): yoekiyapinba
  • Laos: poun tay, poun po
  • Thailand: benchachat (central), ton tai bai pen, khwum taai ngaai pen
  • Vietnam: cây thuốc bỏng, cây trường sinh, lạc dịa sinh căn.


B. pinnatum has a pantropical distribution. In Malesia it is naturalized throughout the region. In many places it is a weed; on the other hand it is reported to be cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indo-China.


The fresh leaves are commonly used as a poultice in the treatment of boils, wounds, burns and scalds.


  • A robust, unbranched herb, 30-200 cm tall, glabrous.
  • Leaves fleshy, leathery when older, earlier ones simple, ovate, with cordate or rounded base, upper ones pinnate, 3-5-foliolate, 5-9(-20) cm × 2.5-5 cm, base cuneate, apex obtuse, margin crenate, petiole semi-amplexicaulous.
  • Inflorescence a lax terminal cyme, 10-80 cm long.
  • Flowers pendulous, with a cylindrical calyx, up to 25 mm × 8 mm, slightly indented at the base, lobes ovate-triangular, 7-12 mm long, very acutely acuminate, corolla tube cylindrical, about 30 mm long, strongly constricted at about 8 mm from the base, corolla lobes oblong-ovate, about 6 mm long, abruptly long-acuminate, in lower half green, in upper half red.

B. pinnatum is found in dry rather sunny locations near human habitation up to 1000 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A., 1951. Crassulaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (General editor): Flora Malesiana. Series 1, Vol. 4. Noordhoff Kolff, Djakarta, Indonesia. pp. 197-202.
  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1963) 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965) 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968) 761 pp.
  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240. Vol. 2 (I- Z) pp. 1241-2444.
  • Da Silva, S.A.G., Costa, S.S., Mendonca, S.C.F., Silva, E.M., Moraes, V.L.G. & Rossi Bergmann, B., 1995. Therapeutic effect of oral Kalanchoe pinnata leaf extract in murine leishmaniasis. Acta Tropica 60(3): 201-210.
  • de Padua, L.S., Lugod, G.C. & Pancho, J.V., 1977-1983. Handbook on Philippine medicinal plants. 4 volumes. Documentation and Information Section, Office of the Director of Research, University of the Philippines at Los Baños, the Philippines.
  • Dharma, A.P., 1981. Indonesische geneeskrachtige planten [Indonesian medicinal plants]. De Driehoek, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 168 pp.
  • Doan Thi Nhu, Nguyen Thuong Thuc, Do Huy Bich & Vu Thuy Huyen (Editors), 1991. Les plants médicinales au Vietnam. Livre 1. Médicine traditionelle et pharmacopée [The medicinal plants of Vietnam. Volume 1. Traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia]. Agence de coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 201 pp.
  • Gaind, K.N. & Gupta, R.L., 1971. Flavonoid glycosides from Kalanchoe pinnata. Planta Medica 20(4): 368-373.
  • Gaind, K.N. & Gupta, R.L., 1972. Alkanes, alkanols, triterpenes and sterols of Kalanchoe pinnata. Phytochemistry 11: 1500-1502.
  • Hema, D., Tidjani, M., Bassene, E., Pousset, J.L. & Giono Barber, H., 1986. Plantes médicinales africaines XXIV. Etude de l'action anti inflammatoire de Bryophyllum pinnatum (Crassulacées) [African medicinal plants XXIV. Study of the anti inflammatory action of Bryophyllum pinnatum (Crassulaceae)]. Plantes Médicinales et Phytothérapie 20(3): 231-235.
  • Holdsworth, D.K., 1977. Medicinal plants of Papua New Guinea. Technical Paper No 175. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 123 pp.
  • Houck, D.F. & Rieseberg, L.H., 1983. Hormonal regulation of epiphyllous bud release and development in Bryophyllum calycinum. American Journal of Botany 70(6): 912-915.
  • Kirtikar, K.R. & Basu, B.D., 1935. Indian medicinal plants. 2nd Edition, edited by Blatter, E., Caius, J.F. & Mhaskar, K.S. L.H. Basu, Allahabad, India. 4 volumes xxxvii + 2793 pp.
  • Lauzac Marchal, M., 1974. Taxonomie végétale - Réhabilitation du genre Bryophyllum Salisb. (Crassulacées, Kalanchoïdées). [Plant taxonomy - Rehabilitation of the genus Bryophyllum Salisb. (Crassulaceae, Kalanchoideae)]. Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des Sciences Paris. Série D. Sciences naturelles 278: 2505-2508.
  • Mansfeld, R., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaflicher und gaertnerischer Kulturpflanzen (ohne Zierpflanzen) [Register of agricultural and horticultural plants (withouth ornamentals)]. 2nd Edition, revised by J. Schultze Motel. 4 volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 1998 pp.
  • McKenzie, R.A. & Dunster, P.J., 1986. Hearts and flowers: Bryophyllum poisonoing of cattle. Australian Veterinary Journal 63(7): 222-227.
  • McKenzie, R.A., Franke, F.P. & Dunster, P.J., 1987. The toxicity to cattle and bufadienolide content of six Bryophyllum species. Australian Veterinary Journal 64(10): 298-301.
  • Morton, J.F., 1981. Atlas of medicinal plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, United States. 1420 pp.
  • Naseema, A. & Wilson, K.I., 1990. New records on fungi on some medicinal plants from India. Indian Phytopathology 43(4): 595.
  • Nguyen Van Duong, 1993. Medicinal plants of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Mekong Printing, Santa Ana, California, United States. 528 pp.
  • Obaseiki Ebor, E.E., Odukoya, K., Telikepalli, H., Mitscher, L.A. & Shankel, D.M., 1993. Antimutagenic activity of extracts of leaves of four common edible vegetative plants in Nigeria (West Africa). Mutation Research 302(2): 109-117.
  • Perry, L.M., 1980. Medicinal plants of East and Southeast Asia. Attributed properties and uses. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States & London, United Kingdom. 620 pp.
  • Pételot, A., 1952-1954. Les plantes médicinales du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam [The medicinal plants of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam]. 4 volumes. Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques et Techniques, Saigon, Vietnam.
  • Quisumbing, E., 1978. Medicinal plants of the Philippines. Katha Publishing Co., Quezon City, the Philippines. 1262 pp.
  • Rao, V.G., Alaka Pande & Patwardhan, P.G., 1989. Three new records of fungal diseases of economic plants in Maharashtra State. Biovigyanam 15(1): 51-53.
  • Siddharta, P. & Chaudhuri, A.K.N., 1990. Anti inflammatory action of Bryophyllum pinnatum leaf extract. Fitoterapia 41(6): 527-533.
  • Siddharta, P. & Chaudhuri, A.K.N., 1991. Studies on the anti ulcer activity of a Bryophyllum pinnatum leaf extract in experimental animals. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 33: 97-102.
  • Siddiqui, S., Faizi, S., Siddiqui, B.S. & Sultana, S., 1989. Triterpenoids and phenanthrenes from leaves of Bryophyllum pinnatum. Phytochemistry 28(9): 2433-2438.
  • Wickens, G.E., 1987. Crassulaceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor): Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands & Boston, United States. 67 pp.
  • Winter, K. & Smith, J.A.C. (Editors), 1996. Crassulacean acid metabolism: biochemistry, ecophysiology and evolution. Ecological Studies, Vol. 114. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 449 pp.
  • Yamagishi, T., Haruna, M., Yan, X.Z., Chang, J.J. & Lee, K.H., 1989. Antitumor agents, 110. Bryophyllin B, a novel potent cytotoxic bufadienolide from Bryophyllum pinnatum. Journal of Natural Products 52(5): 1071-1079.
  • Yamagishi, T., Yan, X.Z., Wu, R.Y., McPhail, D.R., McPhail, A.T. & Lee, K.H., 1988. Structure and stereochemistry of bryophyllin A, a novel potent cytotoxic bufadienolide orthoacetate from Bryophyllum pinnatum. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 36(4): 1615-1617.

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