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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Coral Aloe (stiata), aloe karasbergensis, aloe kommagasensis

Posted by PicasaAloe Striata- Coral aloe

"The genus name "Aloe" from the Arabic, "alloch",translated as "allal" in Greek and Hebrew, means       bitter sap. "Stiata" sounds like stripes, and that's what it means--  stripes on the leaves that  run length-wise.

The Coral aloe has 2 cousins, both handsome plants in their own right ---karasbergensis   http://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=2916 and a.kommagasensis.apparently the latter is harder to grow, since even sophisticated nurseries don't carry it.There are seeds available ( http:wwwmade-in-afrika.com/aloes/). A challenge.

A. Striata seems to be pretty tough despite the sensitive looking leaves . It grows in the Great Karoo, in S. Africa, a most difficult environment. Parts of S. Africa are balmy and sub-tropical, but the Karoo has extremes of temperature and drought like our own SW deserts . Striata’s ability to store a lot of water in its leaves---not for nothing called “fat plants” in S. Africa ----is the key to its’ ability to  withstand drought, heat and freezing temperatures. Could  the water filled leaves buffer the plant against low temperatures like the ” wall of water” growers use https://www.debnroo.com)to extend the growing season for vegetables?

Striata It has been used successfully in road centers, and flourishes in big clumps in Central Coast parks (Alice Keck Garden). It’s a likeable plant, good-natured ,without fierce spines. The more subtle colors of the leaf appear in a little shade. So far it appears frost-proof,reported to be hardy to 20 degrees. Hummingbirdslove the flowers.