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Aloe pearsonii Schönland

      Aloe pearsonii - click on the image to see a larger version

Destribution:  Namaqualand and Namibia, Aloe pearsonii is found in the hilly and mountainous  areas of northern Namaqualand (Richtersveld) and Namibia.  It grows in high, rocky places which are extremely arid.   The summer temperature often exceeds 38 C.  Aloe pearsonii occurs in a winter rainfall area (125mm).

Description:  This is a very slow growing aloe, old plants may  reach only 1.3 m in height.  This a distinctive tall spp which forms a dense shrubby bush.  The recuirved leaves form four ranks along the stem.   The leaves turn dull red and become deflexed during a drought, the leaves turn green after rain.

Cultivation: Full sun, very little water, alkaline soil.

Flower:  The laterally produced inflorescence is 40 cm tall and may be simple or 2-3 branched.  The raceme (15 cm) has yellow or brick-red flowers.  The flowering period is January and February.

Propagation:  Seeds and offsets.

Point of interest:  This aloe was named after the first Director of Kirstenbosche, Dr H.H.W. Pearson, who first collected it in 1910.

Photographer: Alta Schemper