Agave Type? Blooming

janan16(8b TX)June 1, 2009

This is a very pretty (I think) agave type succulent that has beautiful salmon colored bloom. Hummingbirds flock to this. Can anyone give me a "for sure" ID on it? Even small ones bloom and it does not die after blooming. I may have some of this to trade, but I wanted to know what it is before I do. Thanks!


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cactusmcharris

Jan,

That's an Aloe - Aloe saponaria, is my guess- not an Agave.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 3:28PM
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paracelsus

Definitely Aloe. Possibly maculata = saponaria.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 12:17PM
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cactusmcharris

And Paracelsus opens the can of worms I've never been able to afix in my mind - the Spotted Aloes of Southern Africa.

And I did not know that the maculate A. saponaria is also known as A. maculata. Well, everyone knows a plant worth its cambrium has at least two names, if not more.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 6:39PM
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janan16(8b TX)

Thanks to both of you!!! I could not have found it without your help. I love the internet:

Aloe saponaria, aka soap aloe or African aloe, has a rosette that is up to 1-1/2' tall and about the same width with lance-shaped leaves that are thick and succulent, armed on the margin by sharp, dark-brown teeth, and pale green with white blotches or spots. The name comes from the Latin sapo for soap, and saponaceus means soapy. Sap from the succulent leaves makes a sudsy foam in water and thus can be used as a soap substitute. Its synonymous name maculata refers to the white spots on the leaves. Soap aloe is native to arid regions of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and is a very drought-tolerant species. During the summer it sends up a branched stalk about 2' tall, bearing showy tubular yellow, orange or red flowers. It propagates by producing little "pup" rosettes around the main one

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 8:31PM
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cactusmcharris

Jan,

If you ever get a chance to see it in the suburbs of San Diego (which, you will grant me, is closer than Cape Town) you will know the truth of the last sentence in your description above - it's enthusiastically puppiferous.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 12:12AM
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omniphasic(9 Ca)

It's quite prolific up here in Contra Costa County as well.It turns a little reddish in the high heat of summer and I always smile at our climate here...we can just about grow anything.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 1:49AM
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