Aloe glauca.png

 

Photo: Thabo Maphisa

Author: Ivan Latti

Aloe glauca

Aloe glauca, in Afrikaans commonly known as the blouaalwyn (blue aloe), is a stemless or short-stemmed leaf succulent that often branches sparingly from near the base, reaching heights of 90 cm to 1,35 m.

The species distribution is in the west of South Africa from the southern Cape coast in the Western Cape to Namaqualand in the Northern Cape. There are discrete sub-distributions with large discontinuities between populations that do not quite grade into each other. This causes different forms of the plant to be found, previously varieties that are no longer upheld. The photos shown here are of plants seen at Naries in Namaqualand, west of Springbok.

These plants grow in stony and rocky places on hills and mountains in the arid parts of the winter rainfall area. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Reynolds, 1974; Van Wyk and Smith, 2003; Jeppe, 1969; iNaturalist; http://redlist.sanbi.org).

Aloe glauca floral bracts and leaves.png

Aloe glauca floral bracts and leaves

Aloe glauca grows about 40 leaves per rosette. The fairly broad leaves taper in a triangular shape, toothed dark red-brown along the margins. The upper surface is nearly flat at the base, slightly channelled near the tip; the lower surface convex. Leaves become about 40 cm long and 10 cm to 15 cm wide near the base. 

The rigid marginal teeth of the leaves are deltoid or three-dimensionally triangular, about 5 mm long. Small, scattered teeth are sometimes also found on the outer leaf surfaces near their tips.

The species is named for the glaucous, blue-grey smooth leaf colour that makes the plant fairly easy to identify. Faint longitudinal lines are often visible upon the leaf surfaces but no spots.

The leaf sap is orange when it dries (Reynolds, 1974; Van Wyk and Smith, 2003; Jeppe, 1969; iNaturalist).

 

Photo: Thabo Maphisa

Author: Ivan Latti

Aloe glauca flowers.png

Aloe glauca flowers

Aloe glauca grows about 40 leaves per rosette. The fairly broad leaves taper in a triangular shape, toothed dark red-brown along the margins. The upper surface is nearly flat at the base, slightly channelled near the tip; the lower surface convex. Leaves become about 40 cm long and 10 cm to 15 cm wide near the base. 

The rigid marginal teeth of the leaves are deltoid or three-dimensionally triangular, about 5 mm long. Small, scattered teeth are sometimes also found on the outer leaf surfaces near their tips.

The species is named for the glaucous, blue-grey smooth leaf colour that makes the plant fairly easy to identify. Faint longitudinal lines are often visible upon the leaf surfaces but no spots.

The leaf sap is orange when it dries (Reynolds, 1974; Van Wyk and Smith, 2003; Jeppe, 1969; iNaturalist).

 

Photo: Thabo Maphisa

Author: Ivan Latti

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