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Habit at Ulana St Makawao, Maui, Hawaii (USA). February 18, 2011.
Origin and Habitat: Madagascar.
Habitat and ecology: Aloe rauhii grows among dense shrubs on sandstone.
ENGLISH: Snowflake aloe
Description: Aloe rauhii (common name snowflake aloe) is a perennial basal-rosetted succulent, eventually forming dense clumps with small, but colourful flowers in winter. The leaves are characteristically mottled with numerous elongated, white, H-shaped spots, the overall appearance of which may resemble snowflakes. In some forms, the leaves have raised dots or are almost white with green dots. In full sunlight, the green and white leaves become a purplish orange colour. This plant is one of the most commonly used aloes in hybridization, with many named hybrids sold commonly in garden outlets.
Stem: Absent or very short.
Leaf rosettes: Approximately 10-12(-20) cm in diameter and 10 cm tall, with about 20 leaves.
Leaves: Triangular-lanceolate, succulent, 7-10 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide, bright green, greyish-green, greyish brown or brownish speckled with so many H-shaped spots on both surfaces that they appear more white than green. Leaf tip is pointed. Margins cartilaginous with soft white teeth about 0.5 mm long and 1 to 2 mm apart.
Inflorescence: Flower stems simple or rarely branched 25(-30) cm long and ca. 1 cm in diameter. Racemes loose, cylindrical and slightly tapering about 7 cm long and 4 cm wide with 12-18 flowers. Bracts ovate-acute, narrowed, white, 4-5 mm long and 2 mm wide.
Flowers: Tubular, orange-pink to scarlet, constricted above the ovary then cylindric and slightly expanding towards the mouth, ca. 2.5 cm long, 5 mm in diameter across the ovary, pale red to greenish towards mouths. Outer lobes free to the base. Anthers and style projecting ca. 1 mm. Peduncles ca. 10 mm long.
Blooming season: Flowers are borne throughout the year, but more frequently in winter.
Chromosome number: 2n = 14
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Forest & Kim Starr “Aloe rauhii (Snowflake aloe)”. Plants of Hawaii. <http://www.starrenvironmental.com>. Web. 27 Sep. 2014.
2) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons: Monocotyledons” Springer Science & Business Media, 17/Jul/2001
3) Gilbert Westacott Reynolds “The Aloes of Tropical Africa and Madagascar” Aloes Book Fund, 1966
4) Christopher Brickell “RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers” Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 01/set/2010
5) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants:A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
6) Susan Carter, John J. Lavranos, Leonard E. Newton, Colin C. Walker: “Aloes. The definitive guide.” Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2011
7) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton: “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names.” Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg 2010
8) Brandham, P. E. “Aloe rauhii.” Kew Mag. 3(2): 57–61.1986
9) Fritz, G. P. J. “Miniature and smaller aloes of Madagascar.” Aloe 19(3): 75–78. 1982
10) Reynolds, G. W. “A new Aloe from Madagascar.” J. S. African Bot. 29: 151–154.1963
11) Cactus & Succulent journal of America 51: 49 1979
12) Verdoorn, I. C. “Aloe rauhii.” Fl. Pl. Africa pl. 1517.1967
13) Wikipedia contributors. "Aloe rauhii." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 Mar. 2014. Web. 29 Oct. 2014.
Habit at Ulana St Makawao, Maui, Hawaii (USA). February 18, 2011. Photo by: Forest Starr & Kim Starr
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Cultivation and Propagation: Aloe rauhii 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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