ISI 2010-11. Aloe ‘Dragon’ K. Zimmerman

A number of years ago my colleague Karen Zimmerman became intrigued with dwarf aloe hybrids such as the hugely popular selections made by Kelly Griffin. Additional contributions by Brian Kemble, Dick Wright, John Bleck, and Nathan Wong provided further germplasm for her initial hybridization work along with various species sprinkled in along the way. All contributed to an intensive breeding program, still in full swing, in pursuit of ever more attractive and fascinating variations in leaf ornamentation to complement the floriferousness of these dwarf aloes. Among the choicest results so far are many that are slow to offset. Were it not for the advent of the Huntington’s tissue culture lab, many of these would take several more years to propagate by more traditional techniques. This year marks the first offerings of plants produced at the Huntington by tissue culture and foremost among these are the first of the Zimmerman hybrids that are already generating considerable excitement among aloe collectors who have been watching Karen’s progress. Aloe ‘Dragon’ is an F2, a cross of two clones (clones 1 and 2) of “kz#1” the first interspecific hybrid she chose to hybridize further. Therefore, kz#1 refers to her cross A. divaricata × A. parvula. Aloe ‘Dragon’ has slender, arching, leaves with pinkish teeth against a field of milky blue. The epithet was chosen in honor of Karen’s nephew, who is known by that nickname. HBG 93165, $15.

Photo © 2010 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 82 (2), March - April, 2010