Aloe plowesii Reynolds

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Aloe plowesii

Photo: Darrel Plowes
Chimanimani Mts.

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Common names: Plowes' grass aloe (English)
Frequency: Local
Status: Native
Small perennial, solitary or suckering to form clusters of 2-3 very short stems. Leaves rosulate, grass-like, linear, 20-30 cm, rather fleshy, dull green, white-spotted in the lower half; margin with minute white teeth. Inflorescence simple, erect, up to 30-45 cm tall. Raceme laxly flowered, cylindric to subcapitate, 5-10 cm long; bracts papery, ovate-acuminate, up to 10 × 5 mm. Flowers 30-35 mm long, cylindric, orange-scarlet, green-tipped.
Notes: This species is very similar to Aloe wildii and occurs in the same area and habitat. The main differences are the rosulate leaves, slightly larger floral bracts and a slightly more compact inflorescence. There is some debate on the taxonomy of this plant. It may be a form of A. wildii or a natural hybrid with A. wildii as one of the parents.
Derivation of specific name: plowesii: named after Darrel Plowes (1925 -)from Zimbabwe, avid naturalist, plant collector and expert on orchids and stapeliads.
Habitat: Montane grassland among rocks and boulders, where it is subjected to seasonal burning.
Altitude range: (metres) 1370 - 1770 m
Flowering time:Jul - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Chimanimani Mountains in Mozambique and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status: Near Endemic
Red data list status: Vulnerable
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Carter, S. (2001). Aloaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(3) Page 60.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 5.

Darbyshire, I., Timberlake, J., Osborne, J., Rokni, S., Matimele, H., Langa. C., Datizua, C., de Sousa, C., Alves, T., Massingue, A., Hadj-Hammou, J., Dhanda, S., Shah, T., Wursten, B. (2019). The endemic plants of Mozambique: diversity and conservation status Phytotaxa 136 Page 76.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 161.

Kimberley, M.J. (2003). Miniature Aloes in Zimbabwe Excelsa 20 Page 58. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. (2002). Endemic Plant Species of Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(1) Page 127.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 84.

West, O. (1974). A Field Guide to the Aloes of Rhodesia. Longman, Salisbury Pages 41 - 42. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1964). The endemic species of the Chimanimani Mountains and their significance Kirkia 4 Page 135.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 81.

Other sources of information about Aloe plowesii:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Aloe plowesii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Aloe plowesii
African Plant Database: Aloe plowesii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Aloe plowesii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Aloe plowesii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Aloe plowesii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Aloe plowesii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Aloe plowesii
JSTOR Plant Science: Aloe plowesii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Aloe plowesii
Plants of the World Online: Aloe plowesii
Tropicos: Aloe plowesii
Wikipedia: Aloe plowesii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Aloe plowesii., retrieved 28 February 2024

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