ALOE

The genus includes both large and small species which have radial rosettes, but there are others which form a trunk or stem, either solitary or branched. There are about 200 species native to South Africa and the Mediterranean. The inflorescence grows from the leaf axils, simple or branched. The flowers grow in short-stalked racemes, and are numerous; red, yellow, or orange. The larger species are not suitable for the small collection, but the smaller species are valued as room and greenhouse plants. They require a rich, sandy compost, and good drainage. They are easily increased by cuttings or by offsets.

Aloe humilis. One of the most charming of the smaller species, forming a basal rosette, with pointed glaucous leaves, erect and curving inwards at the tips, covered on both sides with thorny spikes and toothed at the edges. The flowers are tubular, and bright red.

Aloe aristata. Cape Province. The plant is stem-less with numerous leaves, grey-green, or green, with short white spines. The orange-red flowers appear in May to June. Requires a rich compost in which to grow. A. longiaristata is very similar. Eehinocereus pectinatus. P. Mammillaria saetigera. Mamrmllaria gracilis. P. Rhipsalis salicomioides. P. Lophoplwra Williamsii. P. Agave americana marginata, the Century plant. P.93 Agave Victoiiae-Reginae. P. Aloe species. P. Aloe variegata. P. Ferocactus Wislizenii. P. Coryphantha aggregata. P. Conophytum Tischeri. P.

Faucaria felina in flower. P. V Lithops species, “living stones”. P.l Lithops pseudotruncatella with seed pods. P.l Pleiospilos Nelii plants., with bud and flower. P. Stapelia flower with horsefly. P.

Flower of Stapelia variegata P. Crassiila grisea. P.

Cotyledon orbiculata. P. Colvledon imdulata. Mammillaria microcarpa. P.

Aloe brevifolia. Cape Province. A plant of more robust build, short-stemmed, with the rosettes of grey-green leaves very close together. The edges of the leaves are covered with whitish thorny teeth, a few of which are found on the upper and inner side of the leaves. The red flowers are held on a single strong but firmly erect pedicel.

Aloe ciliaris. Cape Province. The leaves of this species have a striped sheath and are recurved, linear-lanceolate and tapering, with toothed edges. The flowers are bright red, and appear in January to March.

Aloeferox. Natal. The thick, broad and somewhat concave leaves are covered with very sharp thorny teeth on both sides as well as along the edges. The flower stalk is short, and carries a compact pyramid-shaped bunch of soft red flowers.

Aloe mitriformis. Grows taller and does not remain as a flat rosette. The stem can be seen between the leaves, which are thick, green, and spoon-shaped, with white, thorny, triangular teeth at the edges. The flowers are scarlet.

Aloe variegata. A very popular species, having beautiful markings caused by the white spots on the leaves being more or less arranged in stripes. The edges of the leaves are lined with minute closely set white teeth. The flowers are a beautiful red. It is well suited to conditions in the home and grows even better on a window-sill than in a greenhouse, for it enjoys the drier air. It should, however, be kept moist in summer, but given very little water in winter.

Other species to be recommended are: A. Khamie-sensis and A. Krapouliana.

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