The GTM Research Reserve wants to thank all of the Citibank volunteers who helped remove the Kalanchoe plants from the dunes in Vilano Beach on Saturday! It took 21 volunteers and over 2 hours to dig up these invasive plants that are causing environmental harm to the beaches.

The Kalanchoe plant (Kalanchoe x houghtonii) otherwise known as the mother of millions or the chandelier plant, is a succulent plant with green and purple leaves. It is an autogamous plant, which means it fertilizes itself in order to spread. It does this by sprouting seeds at the ends of the leaves until they eventually fall off and start to grow. On Saturday, we saw many of these “plantlets” and caught them just in time. By producing more than 16,000 seeds per fruit, the Kalanchoe plant is capable of forming large, dense thickets.

This species is not considered as a problematic invasive plant in Florida, but some are noticing an increasing invasion and we at the GTM Research Reserve are collecting data by mapping its current locations.

We had a great time while helping preserve the dunes! If you’d like to participate in projects that help conserve our natural and cultural resources, apply here to become a volunteer at the GTM Research Reserve!