Aloe kouebokkeveldensis

The succulent leaves of Aloe kouebokkeveldensis grow in a dense rosette that reminds of that of A. striata. The smooth leaf surfaces have faint signs of longitudinal line markings. The margins are entire without spines, a yellow or reddish cartilaginous rim visible upon them. The leaves taper gradually to their acute tips, the leaf base curving in where it clasps the younger leaves above it.

The inflorescence comprises one or two tall panicles with many dark branches. They bear orange-red flowers bulging slightly at the base and are (sometimes?) dark at the tip as the buds. Open flowers nod from fairly long pedicels in short lax racemes (Low and Uschi, Veld & Flora, March 2006).

 

Photo: Thabo Maphisa

Author: Ivan Latti

 

Photo: Thabo Maphisa

Author: Ivan Latti

Aloe kouebokkeveldensis is recent a recent discovery (around 2002)

Aloe kouebokkeveldensis is a recent discovery (around 2002) in ravines of the Thee River in the Koue Bokkeveld Mountains. A rare plant, it is only known from the protected area of the Groot Winterhoek Mountain Catchment Reserve and thus stable in habitat.

A cliff dweller in crevices on south-west facing, sandstone slopes of high mountains; it is inaccessible, thus relatively safe.

The presence of San paintings in caves and overhangs of the area makes the “discovery” a rediscovery and raised the question as to possible early uses of the plant, the Aloe genus being so important in ethnic botany and traditional medicine.

This specimen was seen in Kirstenbosch where seedlings have been propagated successfully, maybe also available to the public (Low and Uschi, Veld & Flora, March 2006; iSpot; www.redlist.sanbi.org).

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