ISI 2003-14. Aloe ‘Blimey Limey’

John Bleck’s dwarf aloe hybrids have become popular in succulent collections for their attractive foliage and repeat-blooming characteristics, not to mention their catchy names such as ‘Cha Cha’, ‘Firefly’, and ‘Lizard Lips’. A dozen of these have been introduced through the ISI since the completion of the three-year, grant-funded hybridization program (courtesy of the Elvenia J. Slosson Endowment Fund, 1979-1982) that afforded Bleck the opportunity to create them while he was in charge of the teaching and research collection at UC Santa Barbara. A. ‘Blimey Limey’ is a late-breaking hybrid, created after the grant and not yet introduced via any other venue. It represents Bleck’s attempt to produce a yellow-green-flowered selection. Like many of its sibling cultivars it has A. bakeri in its complex parentage: ([(A. descoingsii × A. calcairophila) × A. bakeri] × A. bakeri) × (A. bakeri × [A. albiflora × A. bellatula]). The triple dose of this dwarf Madagascan species imparts much to this new selection, including its dark-green lance-linear leaves with white flecking. Its flowers also reveal the presence of A. bakeri. The latter, however, has orange and yellow bicolored flowers, the orange usually dominating in hybrids. Only a hint of orange can be seen at the base of the flower buds of ‘Blimey Limey’, but this fades by the time the flowers open. The name alludes to the uncommon lemony flower color and is derived from British slang: blimey is used to express surprise or amazement and limey is short for lime-juicers, the term for British sailors, who were once required by law to drink lime juice to ward off scurvy. Rooted cuts of HBG 85745, J. Bleck 1647A. $5.

Photo © 2003 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 75 (2), March - April, 2003