Aloe peckii

In general, this species is stemless and growing singly or in small groups, but sometimes groups of over 20 rosettes are formed.
Each rosette has 14-16 leaves, about 16 cm long and 6 cm wide at the base, usually olive-green with many whitish-green spots, but in some cases light green and unspotted.
The flowers are very striking and because of their conspicuous stripes apparently unique within the genus.

The plants occur on gypsum soil in the Al Madu (Ahl Medow)  Mountain Range (north of Erigavo) in Somaliland, at 1,500 to 1,550 m, mostly in shade.

aloepeck! 2049-Edit

aloepeck! 2051-Edit

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Aloe somaliensis

Aloe somaliensis was described in 1899, from plants that were raised at Kew from seeds that had been collected a few years before, probably at Sheikh pass in Somaliland Protectorate (as it was then called). It is now known to occur not only in Somaliland but also in Djibouti, on rocky slopes at altitudes between 700 and 1700 m.
It may be of interest to know that the accompanying pictures were taken late January 2015, likely at roughly the same spot the original seeds came from.

The plants grow singly or in small groups and bear 12-16 leaves, usually narrowly lance-shaped and about 20 cm long.
The inflorescences are 60-80 cm tall.

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Aloe microstigma (part 1 of 2)

Widespread from Ceres in the southwestern Cape to Albany in the Eastern Cape, this species is often a dominant feature of the landscape in the Little Karoo and southern parts of the Great Karoo. This is especially the case in the dry season, when the plants look distinctly reddish.
Usually the rosettes are single, but sometimes they form small groups; they are short-stemmed or (in old plants)  with a stem up to half a meter long.
The leaves are long (about 30 cm) and rather narrow (about 6 cm at base),  most of the time reddish-green -but see above. The name microstigma (very small spot) refers to the numerous white spots that are usually present on both sides of the leaves. The margins are armed with sharp teeth.
The inflorescences are up to 1 m tall, normally 2-3 per rosette, always undivided.
In most cases the flowers are bicoloured in red and yellow, being dull red in bud and turning yellow on opening ; sometimes they have only one colour, either red or yellow. They appear mainly from May to July.

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Aloe ketabrowniorum

This species was described in 1994 from Hurran Hurra in Kenya (west of North Horr, at the north end of the Chalbi Desert). A year later a second locality was found,  but no other ones have been recorded.
Northern Kenya is rather under-collected, so the species may well occur in other places too, but for the moment it should be considered to be rare and endangered.
I was therefore quite chuffed to be able to see the species in the wild. The population looked quite healthy and several plants were in flower. The altitude of the locality is about 580 m.
Aloe ketabrowniorum forms low clumps to ca. 1 m in diameter, branching from the base. The stem creep on the ground with their tips raised and are to 30 cm long.
The leaves are to 38 cm long and 4.5 cm wide at the base, with small but firm marginal teeth. The inflorescences are to 70 cm tall.

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Bulbine triebneri

Until very recently I had never heard or seen this name; it is not even mentioned in the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (2001). Strangely enough I had seen plants of this species on several occasions, but nobody seemed to know what it was. According to some people it was a white-flowered form of B. frutescens, while others said it had been described “not long ago” as a new species.  Searching through the literature did not yield concrete information either.
Ten days ago I was on a fieldtrip with members of CREW, the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (crew@sanbi.org.za).  In the plain between Ouberg and Anysberg we came across several specimens of a white-flowered Bulbine and Marion Maclean casually mentioned the name Bulbine triebneri.
After returning home I found out that Ernst van Jaarsveld had described the species in 2001 as B. alba, but that in 2008 the new species was sunk into the older B. triebneri (Bothalia 38,1).
Of the over 70 species of Bulbine this is the only one with white flowers. It differs from its nearest relative, B. frutescens also by the soft, glaucous, more or less round leaves.
Plants are found in the Little Karoo and the southern Great Karoo, where it is locally abundant on shale ridges and scree. The species also occurs in the Eastern and Northern Cape and in southern Namibia.

In the Bothalia article it says: “The most interesting feature of this species is that the
flowers seemingly open only in the very late afternoon for two to three hours at most.”
In spite of this, the first of the pictures shown here was taken at 7.20 AM and the other three between 12.39 and 13.33 PM.

bulbtrie 0466

bulbtrie 0649

bulbtrie 2009-09-12#013

bulbtrie 2009-11-03#008

Bulbine triebneri

Until very recently I had never heard or seen this name; it is not even mentioned in the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (2001). Strangely enough I had seen plants of this species on several occasions, but nobody seemed to know what it was. According to some people it was a white-flowered form of B. frutescens, while others said it had been described “not long ago” as a new species.  Searching through the literature did not yield concrete information either.
Ten days ago I was on a fieldtrip with members of CREW, the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (crew@sanbi.org.za).  In the plain between Ouberg and Anysberg we came across several specimens of a white-flowered Bulbine and Marion Maclean casually mentioned the name Bulbine triebneri.
After returning home I found out that Ernst van Jaarsveld had described the species in 2001 as B. alba, but that in 2008 the new species was sunk into the older B. triebneri (Bothalia 38,1).
Of the over 70 species of Bulbine this is the only one with white flowers. It differs from its nearest relative, B. frutescens also by the soft, glaucous, more or less round leaves.
Plants are found in the Little Karoo and the southern Great Karoo, where it is locally abundant on shale ridges and scree. The species also occurs in the Eastern and Northern Cape and in southern Namibia.

In the Bothalia article it says: “The most interesting feature of this species is that the
flowers seemingly open only in the very late afternoon for two to three hours at most.”
In spite of this, the first of the pictures shown here was taken at 7.20 AM and the other three between 12.39 and 13.33 PM.

bulbtrie 0466

bulbtrie 0649

bulbtrie 2009-09-12#013

bulbtrie 2009-11-03#008