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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 and a.kommagasensis.apparently the latter is harder to grow, since even sophisticated nurseries don't carry it.There are seeds available ( 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 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.