Grass Aloes are "sort of" bulbs
Sat, 27 Nov 2004 02:34:49 PST
If you interest, next year  will be published a book about Grass Aloe by Charles Craib (the author of Geophytic Pelargoniums), Umdaus Press. You can  book it by the web pages of Pen Rock.
My best regards.
Alberto Grossi

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Date      : Fri, 26 Nov 2004 19:17:17 EST
Subject : [pbs] Grass Aloes are "sort of" bulbs

> Hi,
> Some aloes are deciduous in the wild, growing in summer rainfall areas and 
> dying back in winter.  They are typically hardy (as aloes go) for 2 reasons:  1) 
> the top dies back and the root behaves like a bulb, and 2) they typically 
> come from higher elevations.
> I am growing several species of these "grass" aloes and have found the, so 
> far, to be easy and durable.  They are not "bulbs," but because they die back to 
> a perennial rootstock; because they leaf out in warm weather and have such 
> wonderful flowers, I think of them as bulb-type garden plants.    
> I purchased seed from Silverhill seed about 2 years ago of A. cooperi, A. 
> ecklonis, and A. myriacantha (apparently these are the more easily found 
> species).  All of them should be hardy down to 15 F, and some are reported hardy in to 
> zone 7.  
> I'm not sure what is a grass aloe and what is a bulb aloe, but they are 
> similar; it is my understanding that both are deciduous-but I'm not sure.  I think 
> that bulb aloes actually make a more pronounced storage organ.  The leaves of 
> grass aloes are succulent.  Here, near Houston, TX, the 3 species from 
> Silverhill germinated easily indoors under lights (room temperature), and grew 
> easily.  They really enjoyed our hot Texas summer, and the rain-never seeming to get 
> too much water or sun.  They responded well to fertilizer and really seemed 
> to enjoy it when I moved them from seedling pots/media into a 90% mineral mix 
> (30% lava rock, 30% perlite, 30% coarse sand, 10% humus).  They are about 20-24 
> months old now and I've potted them up several times.  I plan to keep to or 3 
> of each type and find homes for the extras.  
> Last year I protected them from rain during winter; they never got bone dry 
> due to splash and spray but the leaves mostly died down.  This year I will let 
> them stay out in the garden, in 1- or 2-gallon containers over the winter.  
> Perhaps if we have mild frosts again they will remain evergreen or perhaps they 
> will die down.  
> They are such strong growers that I'm hopeful some will bloom next summer.  
> If nothing else I want to try their pollen on the other aloes that tolerate 
> Houston (e.g., maculata, arborescens, striatula).  
> LINK:  Aloe cooperi page at
> LINK:  Aloe striatula page at Plant Delights Nursery
> Oh yeah, I sure would like to find seed of more species of grass (or bulb) 
> aloes; if you have some to sell or trade please contact me.  
> Cordially,
> Conroe Joe
> 71 F high today in Conroe, TX:  55 F predicted for overnight low
> humidity:  85% at 6:00 p.m.  
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Alberto Grossi

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