Cape Town’s Flat Flowered Mountain Aloe

I like to look back at my photos and among my favourites are those from Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town. The flowers are beautifully breathtaking. One of the flowers I observed was  Aloe Marlothii or Flat Flowered Mountain Aloe. I have never seen such a big aloe in my life. The one that I have in my front yard is very small and does not have flowers.

Aloe Marlothii is a striking, robust, large, single-stemmed aloe with a majestic presence. The mountain aloe is undoubtedly one of southern Africa ‘s most rewarding aloes to grow and adds an interesting slant to aloe culture.

Aloe Marlothii is a succulent and therefore well suited to withstand periods of drought, owing to reserves of water stored in the leaves and stem. The thorns on the leaves and very rough, hard, dried leaves along the stem act as a defence against browsing animals. In times of extreme drought, kudu have been observed browsing the leaves despite the plants defences and may denude the leaves of the plant entirely. If conditions are favourable, plants recover within six months. Another defence against browsing is the eventual height obtained by A. Marlothii to escape browsing animals. By growing out of reach of browsers the species has a greater chance of surviving drought.

So, if you are into flowers and aloe species, and will be visiting Cape Town soon, do consider visiting Kirstenbosch Gardens situated at Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa.. It is the largest of a country-wide network of nine National Botanical Gardens administered by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

Operational hours are as follows:
Sep – Mar (Summer): Mon – Sun
08h00 – 19h00

Apr – Aug (Winter): Mon – Sun
08h00 – 18h00

Conservatory: Mon – Sun
09h00 – 17h00

 

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