Bryophyllum pinnatum

Bryophyllum delagnese (Mother of Millions)

(Resurrection Plant)




Bryophyllum pinnatum

Common name(s)

Resurrection Plant

Main colour(s)

Drooping bell shaped red flowers in branched clusters.

Yellowish-green coloured fleshy leaves


30 – 200cm tall


Orpheus Island Research Station


Resurrection Plant has been widely cultivated as a garden ornamental in Australia, but is considered one of the top 50 environmental weeds in Queensland. 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 delagonese (Mother of millions) which can also be found on OIRS.

A perennial herbaceous plant with an upright habitat growing to around 30-180cm in height, this plant can be distinguished by its distinctive mottled cylindrical fleshy leaves that have a few small teeth near their tips. Its 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 tips of 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 and south Africa, 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 its ability to form dense populations has been proven to modify vegetation structures in costal environs and along waterways. It is also thought to be 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 reasonable control. It can found growing in scattered areas throughout the station but the main infestation is on the land side of the track area between the office and lab areas and along the track to the point.

Research that has been undertaken at OIRS


2010: Approximately 50kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers

2011: Approximately 30kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers

2012: Approximately 100kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers