Aloes of Southern Africa
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Aloes are the flagship plants of Africa, vividly defining the landscapes in which they occur. In garden settings, these stately succulent plants capture the allure of the African savanna and serve as excellent focus plants around which other indigenous plants can be successfully grouped.
Aloes in Southern Africa explores the character and biology of African aloes, describing their habits, characteristic features and distribution in nature. It also details 58 aloe and related species across several vegetation zones. Aloe cultivation and propagation is discussed too, providing insight into optimum growing conditions, gardening styles and plants that flourish in different regions.
A feature on medicinal, cosmetic and culinary uses reveals the special properties of these intriguing plants. Whether you are starting a garden, redeveloping one or simply looking to expand your knowledge of these fascinating succulents, Aloes in Southern Africa will prove an invaluable guide.
inner parts of the leaves where life-supporting photosynthesis takes place. This character is especially useful for plants that grow with their leaves partly sunken into the ground, as it allows a plant to contract into the soil, exposing very little transpiration surface to the atmosphere, yet still carry on with normal, albeit slow, growth. The presence of a window on a leaf may protect its inner tissues against damage caused by the intense light found in arid habitats. The best known
cordage products (rope, twine, canvas), but can also be pulped for use in speciality papers, such as tissue paper, filter paper, tea bags, currency and security papers. It is likely that the monocarpic habit of agaves requires that once carbon (the product of photosynthesis) has been expended on the production of structural material, such as fibres and leaf tissues, the plant should conserve its accumulated energy reserves until they are required for reproduction, sometimes up to a decade or
fynbos. This vegetation type is very characteristic of the CFR, and the region is sometimes referred to as the Fynbos Biome. The climate prevalent in the CFR is generally described as Mediterranean (see page 48). This means that the winters are mild and wet and the summers are hot and rather dry, although especially towards the east, thunderstorms are not uncommon during the warmer months of the year. Frost is restricted to the inland valleys, and snowfalls to the higher mountains. Mist moving
as soon as the lowest capsules start to split open. Stand the inflorescence upside down in the shade on a large sheet of paper onto which the seeds will be released. If insect infestations of the capsules are likely, cut the inflorescence into manageable lengths and enclose them in a paper bag to which an insecticide or fungicide has been added. Never use a plastic bag as any moisture remaining in the inflorescence will cause condensation, which will inevitably lead to fungal growth on the seeds.
contrasts sharply with the red colour of the buds. The derivation of the word ‘aloe’ is uncertain, but the following has been suggested: 1. From the Arabic alloch or alloeh, referring to species used medicinally; a vernacular name for such members of the genus. 2. From the Greek aloë, the dried juice of aloe leaves, akin to or derived from earlier Semitic (alloeh), Hebrew (ahalim or allal, i.e. bitter) and Sanskrit words. The genus Aloe comprises more than 550 species of fat-leaved