Aloe Khamiesensis Ottospoort

 In Aloe

Synonyms:

No synonyms are recorded for this species name.

Habitat:

Aloe Khamiesensis is an endemic species of South Africa. It grows in rocky and mountainous parts of Namaqualand in the Northern Cape Province, on mostly granite- and sandstone-derived soils. It also can be found in some localities in the Hantamberg in the Calvinia districtThe associated vegetation is the Namaqualand and Succulent Karoo veld of South Africa. It’s considered a threatened species, being quoted in “The World List of Threatened Species” and in CITES’s appendix II (CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is an international agreement between governments with the aim to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival) . The number of individuals has started to decrease because of uncontrolled and unscrupolous collection.

Description:

In its natural environment, Aloe khamiesensis can reach the height of 3 meters! They are one-stemmed or either 2 or three-stemmed trees, or bushes. Actually both definitions don’t fit to Aloe khamiesensis, which in some ways can remind a palm tree, being composed of a rosette of leaves on the top and, along the stem until the ground, of dead leaves which don’t detach from the plant. Leaves are 8 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters long, they are pale green, with tinges of red, white-spotted on both surfaces, and they have reddish-brownish teeth on the margins. Blossoming occurs from June to August, when it’s winter in South Africa. Inflorescence are long branched stems, forming from 4 to 8 triangular racemes of red, tubular flowers. After pollination, the fruit grows and splits in three parts.

Cultivation:

Aloe Khamiesensis Ottospoort requires a well-drained soil, composed of one third of sand or pebbles, to prevent roots rotting. Also leaf rotting can occur, if you wet too much the leaves while watering and you water too much frequently. Watering can be almost completely suspended in winter (once a month it’s sufficient) and, in spring and summer, watering once or twice every two weeks is sufficient. Before each watering, it’s better to wait until the soil is completely dry. Aloe Khamiesensis Ottosport needs bright light, especially in winter. It can survive temperatures close to 0ºC but, to prevent damages, it’s better to keep it indoors, especially if you live in a region with cold winters. Repotting is not so frequent, because Aloes are relatively slow-growing plants, but it has to be done at least once a year, in spring.

Propagation:

Aloe khamiesensis is better grown from seeds, which have to be sown not too much time after they have been collected from the plant. The best time to sowing, in South Africa, is in summer (January). In the northern hemisphere it would be July. Seeds have to be sown in river sand, and they have to be covered lightly and to be kept moist. After germination, start provide the little plants once a month with organic based fertilizer until they reach a dimention of 20-30 centimeters of diameter.

Curiosity:

Aloe khamiesensis has not any medicinal use, but, for its beauty, has been intensely collected: that’s why the number of individuals is decreasing in South Africa. Aloe Khamiesensis is pollinated by Sunbirds, ants, and insects.

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