Aloe tenuior

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Aloe tenuior
Aloe tenuior var tenuior - South Africa 3.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Aloe
Species: A. tenuior
Binomial name
Aloe tenuior
Lam.
Map of South Africa showing highlighted range of six Aloe species, with Aloe tenior occurring in the east
range in turquoise

Aloe tenuior (or the Fence Aloe) is a bushy, multi-branched climbing aloe from the grasslands and thickets of the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga, South Africa. It is one of the most profusely flowering of all aloes.[1]

Description[edit]

Locally, this plant is known as iKhalene in Xhosa, inTelezi in Fengu, and simply the fence aloe in English. The specific epithet tenuior means "very slender", and refers to the plant's stems.[2]

A medium-sized, bushy aloe that forms clumps up to 3 m tall, with leaves tufted at the ends of branches. The leaves have a distinctive greyish-green colour and the leaf margins have tiny white teeth. These leaves are a traditional remedy for tapeworm.

An unusually large, woody rootstock usually forms on the ground at the base of the plant.

Like all climbing aloes, flowers are borne on slender racemes and are usually bright yellow (although there are red-flowered forms, sometimes called var. rubriflora).

Aloe tenuior flowers throughout the year, but especially in winter, and the small flowers appear on thin, un-branched racemes.[3]

Varieties[edit]

Aloe tenuior is an extremely variable species. The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) recognizes only two varieties:[4]

  • A. tenuior var. tenuior
  • A. tenuior var. viridifolia van Jaarsv. (the Green-leaf Fence Aloe) restricted to the Suurberg Shale Fynbos, near Addo Elephant Park, north of Port Elizabeth.

Other additional varieties recognized by some sources, include:

The latter grouping are treated by WCSP as synonyms of A. tenuior var. tenuior.[5]

Relatives[edit]

Aloe tenuior is part of a group of similar Southern African climbing aloes, called the Macrifoliae Aloes. Also included in this group are its relatives Aloe gracilis (which occurs to the west around Port Elizabeth), Aloe striatula (found to the north on the higher mountain slopes), and Aloe decumbens, Aloe juddii and Aloe commixta which occur only in isolated pockets in the Western Cape fynbos. However, it can be distinguished from its relatives by its thin, greyish, non-recurved leaves.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2009. Aloe tenuior Haw. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2011.1
  2. ^ http://www.succulents.co.za/aloes/rambling-aloes/index.php
  3. ^ Smith, G.F. & Van Wyk, B.-E. 2008. Aloes in Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1-875093-04-5.
  4. ^ Search for "Aloe tenuior", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-05-25 
  5. ^ http://posa.sanbi.org/flora/results_browse.php?src=FloraSA&taxon=genno=2206,spno=252
  6. ^ Reynolds, G.W. 1950. The Aloes of Southern Africa. Balkema, Cape Town.