Monday, October 22, 2012

Aloe variegata, Partridge-breasted Aloe

 If you read any houseplant or indoor plant book which originates from the UK, this Aloe is sure to be featured. It is a neat stemless succulent without spines or prickles and at this time of year it sends up a curved inflorescence of orange pink flowers from between the keel shaped spotted leaves. It is not often available commercially here perhaps because it is relatively slow to increase from offsets or maybe because it is just too small at just 20cm to make an impact as an indoor or container specimen. It requires very little water to keep it looking good and in its native habitat of southern Africa (Free State, Karoo, and Namaqualand) it goes by the common name of Kanniedood meaning eternal life.

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