Aloiampelos striatula

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Aloiampelos striatula
Aloe striatula 1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Aloiampelos
Species:
A. striatula
Binomial name
Aloiampelos striatula
(Haw.) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm.[1]
Map of Macrifoliae Aloes.png
Synonyms[1]
  • Aloe striatula Haw.

Aloiampelos striatula, formerly Aloe striatula, the hardy aloe or striped-stemmed aloe,[2] is a sturdy succulent plant that naturally occurs on the summits of mountains along the south of the Karoo region of South Africa. Tough and hardy, with orange-yellow flowers, it is a popular plant in gardens around the world.

Description[edit]

Aloiampelos striatula is a robust rambling plant that can form a large shrub of up to 2 m in height. It is closely related to Cape Town's Aloiampelos commixta, but it is easily distinguished from it by the distinctive dark green stripes on the stems and leaf sheathes (its species name, striatula, means "little stripes"), and by its thin, recurved leaves (which, like its flowers, are more densely packed). The leaves of striatula are dark green and strongly recurved, with numerous small white teeth along their margins.

The flowers are reddish-orange and appear densely on tall (400mm), un-branched, cone-shaped racemes throughout the summer.

The unique Caesia variety of this species - found only around Molteno in the Eastern Cape - has lighter grey-green leaves and bright yellow flowers.[3]

Distribution[edit]

Aloiampelos striatula naturally occurs in the mountains of the Karoo region of South Africa, between the towns of Graaf-reinet and Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, extending into the Free State and Lesotho.[1] It is very tough and hardy however and has been planted widely in gardens - in South Africa and around the world.

Although closest to the rare and unique Aloiampelos commixta of Table Mountain, Aloiampelos striatula is part of a genus, Aloiampelos, that grows throughout Southern Africa. Other species in this group are: Aloiampelos ciliaris, Aloiampelos tenuior, Aloiampelos gracilis, Aloiampelos juddii, Aloiampelos decumbens, and of course A. commixta and A. striatula itself.[4]

Cultivation[edit]

One of the hardiest of aloes and relatives, it will grow just about anywhere, and is even known commonly as the "hardy aloe". It will tolerate much colder temperatures than most aloes and relatives, including frost and even some light snow, but it prefers full sun and well-drained soil. In the Eastern Cape it is often planted along the boundaries of kraals, as it naturally forms a well-shaped and hardy hedge. Like other climbing aloes, it can easily be propagated by cuttings(truncheons) as well as by seed.

The plant's Latin species epithet "striatula" means "little stripes", and refers to the thin dark-green stripes that can be seen on the plant's leaf sheaths. Due to their similar species names, striatula is often confused in literature with the similarly named Aloe striata ("coral aloe").[5]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[2]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Aloiampelos striatula". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  2. ^ a b "RHS Plantfinder - Aloe striatula". Royal Horticultural Society. 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  3. ^ Smith, G.F. & Van Wyk, B.-E. 2008. Aloes in Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1-875093-04-5.
  4. ^ Reynolds, G.W. 1950. The aloes of Southern Africa. Balkema, Cape Town.
  5. ^ http://www.succulents.co.za/aloes/rambling-aloes/index.php