Aloe marlothii

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Aloe marlothii
Aloe marlothii00.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Aloe
Species: A. marlothii
Binomial name
Aloe marlothii
Alwin Berger

Aloe marlothii (also known as the Mountain Aloe or the Flat-flowered Aloe) is a large, single-stemmed Southern African aloe of rocky places and open flat country, occasionally growing to 6m tall. Its distribution ranges from the Klip River Hills in Johannesburg, through eastern Botswana, northwards over the Soutpansberg to Zimbabwe and Malawi and eastwards through Swaziland and Mozambique to the coast. This species grades through intermediate forms into Aloe spectabilis Reynolds of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the two are now considered synonymous.

Named after Rudolf Marloth, the renowned South African botanist, this species in full flower presents a magnificent spectacle, the trunk densely covered by the withered old leaves, which when green can be up to 1.5m in length and usually densely covered in short spines on the convex lower surfaces and less so on the concave upper surfaces.

The inflorescence is a much-branched panicle with up to 30 or exceptionally 50 racemes . Flower colour ranges from yellow through orange to bright red. Flowering takes place through the winter months, as is the case with most aloes. Aloe marlothii forms natural hybrids with some 30 or more species.

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