Bryophyllum delagonese

Bryophyllum delagnese (Mother of Millions)

(Mother of Millions)




Bryophyllum delagonese

Common name(s)

Mother of Millions

Main colour(s)

Drooping bell shaped red flowers in dense clusters.

Grayish coloured leaves


30 – 180cm tall


Orpheus Island Research Station


Mother of millions has been widely cultivated as a garden ornamental in Australia, but is considered a significant environmental weed in Queensland and is a declared class 2 weed. It is a widespread weed of pastures, disturbed sites and waste areas in sub-tropical, semi-arid and tropical areas. It is commonly found in rocky sites or poor soils. It is very similar in appearance to Bryophyllum x houghtonii (Hybrid mother of Millions) and Bryophyllum pinnatum (Resurrection plant) which can also be found on OIRS.

A perennial herbaceous plant with an upright habitat growing to around 30-180cm in height. Tthis plant can be distinguished by its distinctive mottled cylindrical fleshy leaves that have a few small teeth near their tips. It’s drooping bell-shaped flowers (2-4cm long) are usually red or reddish-pink in colour and are borne in dense clusters at the top of the stems. Flowering mainly occurs in winter or early spring. Mother of millions reproduces both by seed and via tiny plantlets that are produced at the tipsof its fleshy leaves. Dislodged leaves and broken leaf parts can also take root and give rise to new plants.

Sites where this species can be found at OIRS

Native to Madagascar, this plant has a widespread but scattered distribution throughout eastern Australia and is regarded as significant environmental weed in Queensland. It is well adapted to dry environments and is well able to survive droughts. It is very invasive and has been proven to modify vegetation structures of several islands. It is very poisonous to livestock and humans if ingested.

This plant has been seen on OIRS since the station was established in 1978 and is thought to have been originally introduced as a house plant whilst Pioneer Bay was occupied as part of a fishing and oyster lease. It is one of the main species targeted in our weed removal program and is considered to be under control. It can found growing in scattered areas throughout the station but the main infestation is on the beach side of the track area between the office and lab areas.

Research that has been undertaken at OIRS


2010: Approximately 150kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers

2011: Approximately 100kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers

2012: Approximately 50kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers