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Aloe broomii

Aloe broomii can easily be identified by the dense leafy rosettes and the snake-like racemes (hence the common name, slangaalwyn - snake aloe).

Aloe broomii comes in two distinct varieties, the common form and var. tarkaensis, the two can be distinguished by the presence of lasrge bracts in the former and smller bract in the latter. var. tarkaensis Is also restricted to the south-eastern parts of the distribution area.

Common Names: Bergaalway (Mountain Aloe), Slangaalwyn (Snake Aloe).
Status: Not threatened.
Distribution: Western Cape, Northern Cape and southern Orange Free State.  Plants grow in arid and semi-arid conditions on rocky ridges and north-facing slopes.   Aloe broomii is also found in mountainous areas with an altitude of 1800 meters.
Description of Aloe :
Stem: Aloe broomii (1.5 m in height) is a solitary plant with a simple procumbent stem (only visible in old specimens) which is often covered with old growth.  
Leaves: Leaves are bright green to yellowish-green, margins are reddish brown with sharp teeth.
Flower Description:
Inflorescence: Inflorescences are usually unbranched with one or two asrising rom each rosette. The racemes are up to 1 meter in length and about 70mm in diameter.
Flower: Flowers are short and broad, up to 25mm in length and pale yellow in colour. A feature of A. broomii is that the flowers are hidden by large bracts, only the stamens are visible and the exposed parts turn a dark orange. In var. tarkaensis the bracts are shorter nd the flower is visble.
Flowering Time: Flowering occurs during late August through to early October. The var. tarkaensis flowers in February and March.
Cultivation of Aloe broomii:
Light: Full sun, can handle light shade.
Watering: Drought resistent, careful watering.
Frost Protection: Light frost protection is required.

Picture: Aloe broomii in cultivation.

Aloe broomii in cultivation

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