ISI 2008-11. Aloe suzannae Decary

This rare Madagascan aloe is distinctive in a number of respects. Firstly the spelling of the epithet with a “z” is different than the South African succulents, Crassula susannae and Euphorbia susannae, and reflects the French influence in Madagascan botany. The species is slow-growing but eventually forms a tree to 4 m. The succulent, gray, lanceolate-linear leaves are nearly straight to a meter long, have rounded tips and are packed 60 to 100 per rosette. The flowers are also unusual in their creamy-white color and broadly campanulate shape with spreading petals. These are closely set on a simple spike-like raceme to 3 m tall. We have had the good fortune of witnessing this dramatic inflorescence a couple of seasons now in the Huntington’s Desert Garden. Even more fortunate is that this individual has proven self-fertile, yielding the seed that has made this offering possible. Seedlings from HBG 53704, a plant whose precise origin is unknown. $12.

Photo © 2008 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 80 (2), March - April, 2008