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Products > Aloe lolwensis
 
Aloe lolwensis - Lake Victoria Aloe
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (Aloes)
Origin: Kenya (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: Clumping
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe lolwensis - Stemless rosette-forming plant to about 2 feet tall and suckering to form clumps, has erect to slightly spreading glossy mid-green broad-based 20 inch long lanceolate leaves with prominent brownish teeth well spaced along the leaf margin - leaves flush a unique reddish-brown color in winter. The inflorescence, which appears in mid summer, rises to 4 feet tall with several pale gray upright branches bearing upright gray-pink buds that reflex as they open with a coral-red tube, pale yellow petal lobes and yellow exerted stamens. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Regular to occasional irrigation. Little known in cultivation but the first plants grown in the San Francisco bay area withstood winter temperatures in the high 20's. It is from an equatorial area that receives low but year-round rainfall with little variation in seasonal temperatures and so it was with some skepticism that we thought this plant would do well in our cool wet-winter climate but it has grown very well and flowered regularly in our own garden since first planting it in 2010. This plant is found in grasslands in Kenya near Lake Victoria and on several islands (The type plant described from Rusinga Island) at 4000 to 5000 feet in elevation. It was only recently described and was likely included with Aloe mubendiensis from which it differs by having more numerous and longer, more glossy leaves and a taller inflorescence with coral-red flowers instead of the dark brick-red of Aloe mubendiensis. Our plants from seed distributed by John Miller of the Institute of Aloe Studies from his self-pollinated plant that he grew from seed collected on Zenze Island in Lake Victoria by Anne and Gilfred Powys, an explorer and rancher in Kenya. The specific epithet is in reference to Lake Victoria, locally called Nam Lolwe in the Luo language.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Aloe lolwensis.
 
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