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Aloe longistyla

Aloe longistyla may be mistaken for Aloe humlis and Aloe brevifolia when it is not in flower. When in flower it is easily identified by the short, thick inflorescences and broad racemes that can have up to fifty flowers. Another distinct characteristic of the flower is the style that protrudes 20mm or more out of the mouth of the flower, which interestingly is the longest stamen of all South African Aloes.

The specie name 'longistyla' means 'long style' and it refers to the exceptionally long stamens.

Common Names: Ramenas.
Status: Considered vulnerable.

Found in arid parts of the Little Karoo and the south-eastern parts of the Great Karoo, from Calitzdorp in the west and near to Grahamstown in the east.

Aloe longistyla prefers flat sandy or stony areas in partial shade of larger bushes.

Description of Aloe longistyla:
Stem: Plant is usually solitary and stemless, rarely does the plant form clumps.
Leaves: Leaves are greyish-green in colour, distinct waxy layer on leaves, leaves are 150mm long and 30mm wide near the base, leaf surfaces have white spots that are up to mm long,
Flower Description :
Inflorescence: Simple inflorescence that me be single or in pairs, they can be up to 200mm in height, peduncles are thick, racemes are broadly cone-shaped with up to 50 flowers in a raceme.

Flowers are large in relation the sizse of the plants rosette.

Flowers are light-pink to dark-red in colour, up to 55mm in length and 10mm in diameter. Upper half of the flower is curved upwards, long stamens and style protrude from the mouth of the flower.

Flowering Time: Flowering occurs in the winter months of July and August.
Cultivation of Aloe longistyla:
Light: Full sun.
Watering: Careful watering.
Frost Protection: Required.

Aloe longistyla can be propagated via seeds and offsets. It is difficult to grow in cultivation and specialist care must be given.

A well drained soil is required, I use the following type of mix for Aloes that I grow in pots;

  1. 2 parts coarse sand.
  2. 1 Part well sieved compost.
  3. 2 parts washed sand (from the garden).

Post your tips and ideas at the forum.

Reference: Guide to Aloes of Southern Africa.
Picture: Please contact me if you have images I can use.

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