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Accepted Scientific Name: Aloe albiflora Guillaumin
Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. II, 12: 353 1940
Origin and Habitat: Madagascar, Fort Dauphin Div.
Type locality: Madagascar, Toliara
Habitat: Aloe albiflora lives in subhumid thicket.
UKRAINIAN (Українська): Алое білоквіткове
Description: Aloe albiflora is a small succulent species with long narrow leaves, grey-green with many small white spot. The white, lily-like flowers of this species are so unique from those of all other Madagascan Aloe species that Bertrand proposed to place Aloe albiflora into its own genus Guillauminia. According to G.W. Reynolds there is no compelling reason for this. It is also distinguished by a great willingness to bloom and produces its inflorescences almost all year round. Very few aloes have white flowers.
Habit: It is an acaulescent, suckering species with compact rosettes that form small clumps.
Leaves: About 10, rosulate, linear, tapering at apex, 15 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, rough to the touch, grey-green and finely speckled with many small dull-white spots. Margins not sharp, narrow, dull-white, cartilaginous with many closely set soft to firm whitish teeth 0.5 - 1 mm long.
Inflorescence: 30-36 cm long, simple. Raceme approx 9 cm long, lax, with approx 18 flowers. Bracts ovate-long acuminate, 5 - 6 mm long, 2 mm broad. Pedicel 8 mm.
Flowers: White, 10 mm long, base rounded, campanulate, 14 mm in diameter across mouth. Tepals free to base. Stamen exerted 8 mm.
Related species: Its nearest affinity, based on leaf characters only, is Aloe bellatula and flower shape is similar, too, though A. bellatula has pale pink flowers and is a much more prolific flowerer.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Suculent Plants: Monocotyledons” Springer, 2001
2) Susan Carter, John J. Lavranos, Leonard E. Newton, Colin C. Walker “Aloes. The definitive guide” Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2011
3) Gordon D. Rowley “The illustrated encyclopedia of succulents” Crown Publishers, 01/Aug/1978
4) Werner Rauh, Herman Schwartz “Succulent and xerophytic plants of Madagascar” Volume 2 Strawberry Press, 1998
5) Werner Rauh “The Wonderful World of Succulents: Cultivation and Description of Selected Succulent Plants Other Than Cacti” Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984
6) Clive Innes “Complete Handbook of Cacti and Succulents” Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 01/Dec/1981
7) Reynolds, Gilbert. “The Aloes of Tropical Africa and Madagascar.” The Trustees, Aloes Book Fund, 1966
8) Leonard Eric Newton: Aloe albiflora. In: Urs Eggli, "Sukkulenten-Lexikon. Einkeimblättrige Pflanzen (Monocotyledonen)." Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001
9) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton: “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names.” Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg 2010
10) A. Guillaumin “Plantes nouvelles, rares ou critiques des serres du Museum.” In: Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. 2:12 353.1940
11) Sue Haffner. Aloe albiflora Fresno Cactus and Succulent Society [www.fresnocss.org/plantdocs/aloealbiflora.pdf ] Downloaded on 27 July 2014.
Guillauminia albiflora (Aloe albiflora) Photo by: Julio C. García
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Cultivation and Propagation: Aloe albiflora is an attractive and interesting little aloe cultivated typically as a potted plant in greenhouses or outdoors in mostly frost-free regions. It easy to grow and suited for any well drained soil and requires little care. Winter grower, it is sometimes a tricky grower and prone to rot.
Growing rate: It grows slowly, but not agonisingly so. In the garden it is often in danger of being overgrown, smothered and killed by faster growing plants in its vicinity (can get lost in busy landscape).
Soil: Requires a loose, humusy soil with plenty of drainage chips at the bottom of containers. It prefers soil of a medium or slightly acidic pH.
Fertilization: It needs a perfect fertilizer diet in summer. Use preferably a cacti and succulents fertilizer with high potassium content including all micro nutrients and trace elements or slow release fertilizer.
Exposure: It prefer filtered sun or half-shade, but tolerates full sun, and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun. In summer it is advisable to position this plant in a partially shady place, where it is exposed to direct sunlight only during the coolest hours of the day.
Watering: It tolerates weekly (or more frequent) watering in the summer; once a month, or not at all in the colder months of winter. Can withstand periods of drought, but it will thrive and flower more profusely if watered in the correct season.
Pest & diseases: Incorrect watering, poor drainage or too much shade can lead to attack by pests and diseases. Rot it is only a minor problem with aloes if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Hardiness: This plant doesn't like cold weather, therefore in the Spring it is best to set it outside only when the temperatures are above 15°C. Can endure temperatures below 5°C for short period, but only if the soil stays completely dry.
Gardening and landscaping: In mild climates it can be cultivated outdoors for use in landscaping with a climate not too cold, and not too wet. It can be grown in containers too.
Propagation: By seeds planted in autumn, in trays of coarse river sand. Cuttings can also be used for propagation. Cuttings must be dried out for at least 1 weeks before planting in river sand.
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