ISI 2013-13. Aloe ‘Evil Twin’

Many years ago, in 1975, Shannon Lyons hybridized A. sinkatana with A. harlana. Fast forward to 2011 when we finally decided to accession (assign database numbers) the five remaining plants from this cross that had been growing in the lower Desert Garden for decades. Of these, three had subcapitate racemes of dusky orange flowers, while two had yellow flowers. Of the yellow-flowered, one had subcapitate racemes while the other stood out for its capitate inflorescences of bright yellow flowers. This latter plant was singled out some years earlier for propagation and distribution. Gary Lyons chose to call it Aloe ‘Sophie’, after his and Shannon’s daughter. We attempted to initiate this plant in tissue culture from an offset of a plant growing in our nursery but it succumbed to fungal contamination. A second attempt was made from a young inflorescence of a plant in the garden which was successfully initiated. However, some confusion in labeling resulted in the yellow imposter (Sophie’s evil twin if you will), inserting herself into the initiation process. Rather than discard the resulting crop, we have decided to introduce both of the yellow flowered siblings with the real ‘Sophie’ to be introduced at a later date. Rooted plants from tissue-culture of HBG 78549. $8.

Photo © 2013 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 85 (2), March - April, 2013