Aloe haemanthifolia

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Aloe haemanthifolia
Aloe haemanthifolia of Western Cape mountaintops South Africa 6.JPG
Aloe haemanthifolia foliage.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Aloe
Species: A. haemanthifolia
Binomial name
Aloe haemanthifolia
Mill.

Aloe haemanthifolia is a rare species of Aloe, native to a few high, inaccessible mountain peaks in the Fynbos habitat of Western Cape, South Africa.[1]

Description[edit]

Aloe haemanthifolia is a small bunched aloe with greyish-green, tongue-shaped leaves that grow in a fan shape, similar to its sister species the Fan Aloe (Aloe plicatilis). In fact, it looks very much like a diminutive, stemless form of the tree-like Aloe plicatilis. Its compact ranks of leaves are oblong and grey-green in colour, with bright red margins. [2][3]

Small and close to the ground, it often escapes notice or is mistaken for a lily. In fact, its name "haemanthifolia" was given because of its resemblance to the popular Haemanthus bulbs. [3] [4]

It produces bright scarlet flowers at the end of winter (September up until November in its natural habitat). [3][4]

Aloe haemanthifolia is naturally restricted to high mountain tops, in a tiny corner of the Western Cape.

Distribution[edit]

Its natural range also nearly matches that of Aloe plicatilis (being the mountainous area from Stellenbosch through to Ceres) but Aloe haemanthifolia occurs further up on the mountain peaks than its larger sister species. The plant seems to prefer cold south-facing slopes with heavy winter rainfall. It grows in sheltered cracks in sandstone ridges, forming dense clumps. [3][4]

Tucked inside crevices in its natural habitat it is very hardy - surviving both frost and fire. It has a large, strong root stock - meaning that the plant can re-sprout again, even after all of the plant above ground has been totally destroyed by veld fire.

Cultivation

It is an incredibly difficult aloe to cultivate, and it usually soon dies if planted outside of its natural habitat.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Victor, J.E. 2009. Aloe haemanthifolia A.Berger & Marloth. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants v. 2011
  2. ^ Glen, H.F. and Craib, C. 1993. Aloe haemanthifolia. Flowering Plants of Africa 52(2):t. 2063.
  3. ^ a b c d http://www.succulents.co.za/aloes/stemless-aloes/aloe-haemanthifolia.php
  4. ^ a b c http://desert-plants.blogspot.com/2009/06/aloe-haemanthifolia.html

External links[edit]