ISI 2004-13. Aloe ‘Rooikappie’ Giddy

One of the best results of aloe hybridization so far is realized in A. ‘Rooikappie’ (pronounced roy-copy, Afrikaans for Little Red Riding Hood). If one were to choose the characteristics of the ideal landscape aloe, many of them would be represented in this plant. First, its 30 cm rosettes are large enough to make an impact in a small landscape (or can be massed for larger-scale displays) yet are small enough to be easily handled and transplanted as needed. Second, its foliage is attractively spotted and is not prone to the tip die-back or other blemishes that seem to plague many other medium-sized aloes. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it is a repeat bloomer, deriving it floriferousness from A. sinkatana, its only known (probably open-pollinated) parent. There seems to be no month of the year when some flowers are not present on A. ‘Rooikappie’ in our nursery or garden. South African horticulturist Cynthia Giddy offered a number of Aloe hybrids and cultivars in the catalogs of her Umlaas Aloe Nursery—this one as early as 1974. HBG 32501: plants tissue-cultured by Rancho Soledad Nursery and some offsets from our own stock. $7.50.

Photo © 2004 by Lisa Blackburn. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 76 (2), March - April, 2004