On Topic: Aloe

Pamela Slate pameladaz@msn.com
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 16:00:17 PDT
Dear Justin, et. al.,
One of the best books around on the genus Aloe is Guide to the Aloes of South
Africa by  Ben-Erik van Wyk and Gideon Smith.  The section on grass aloes has
both aloes you’ve mentioned.  In the description sections are the following:

A. kniphofioides:  “The plants are almost invariably solitary and stemless, with
the leaf bases widening to form an underground, bulb-like structure.”

A modesta:  “Plants are small and fairly inconspicuous.  The leaves are long and
thin and the basal portions for a bulb-like swelling below the ground.”

Etcetera and FYI.  

There’s a photo of the root structure of A. kniphofioides and it definitely
looks bulbous.  It also states that this aloe, Aloe inconspicua and A. modesta
are the only S. African aloes with these distinguishing structures.   All three
are grass aloes.

Interestingly, Aloe modesta is the only fragrant aloe of Africa and tolerates
temperatures “well below freezing.”


Pamela Slate
P.O. Box 5316
Carefree  AZ  85377

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