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Products > Aloe tororoana
 
Aloe tororoana - Tororo Rock Aloe
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (Aloes)
Origin: Uganda (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Coral
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Height: 1 foot
Width: Clumping
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Aloe tororoana (Tororo Rock Aloe) A relatively small clustering aloe of about a foot tall that branches from the base with with short, to 8 inch long, decumbent stems holding open rosettes of flattened light blue-green leaves that are lightly speckled with white spots on the lower surface and have prominent teeth along the margins. It is a freely flowering plant that starts blooming in early fall and continuing on into winter with slender upright branching racemes to 18 inches tall bearing bright red-orange, glossy flowers towards the upper portion of inflorescences. The buds with their prominent green tips are at first appressed vertically to the stems, then declining to slightly pendant as the flowers open. Plant in a well-drained soil in full to part day sun with infrequent to occasional irrigation. Cold hardiness tolerances have not been well documented on this plant but the Huntington Botanic Garden has had it growing in their garden for many years and note that despite the close proximity of the natural habitat of this plant to the equator, it is found at an elevation above 4,200 feet which "seems to impart a surprising degree of frost hardiness", so we list its hardiness at around 25 to 30 °F until we can document this better. This is a nice sized aloe to tuck into a spot in the garden, even in small residential ones, and it makes a nice container plant as well. It is noted as being resistant to leaf blemishes and leaf tip diebacks, which many aloe species are prone to. This plant is native to the Tororo district in southeastern Uganda very near to the border with Kenya, where it is found on bare rock surfaces that have little other plants, often hanging on cliffs or in crevices. It was first discovered growing on Tororo Rock in 1946 by H.C. Dawkins, a forestry ecologist in Kampala and then several specimens were collected on sheer rock faces on the northeast summit of Tororo Rock by Swiss botanist Peter René Oscar Bally in 1952. It was from this Bally collection that Gilbert Westacott Reynolds, author of The Aloes of South Africa and The Aloes of tropical Africa and Madagascar, described this species in 1953 in Flowering Plants of Africa (29: 1144). Dr. Reynolds noted that "A striking feature of the slender inflorescence which is simple in young plants, and with 1-2 short branches in adult plants, is the colour of the buds which are coral-red for four-fifths of their length, the apical fifth being green." Aloe tororoana was thought only to be endemic to this one location until later found in the nearby Osukuru Hills. The specific epithet commemorates the type locality where the native people call it Omulakaru (in the local Samia language). Though other collections have since been introduced into cultivation, the Huntington Botanic Gardens have in their garden, plants from the originally Bally and Reynolds clone that is designated as (Bally & Reynolds 6594), accessioned in their collection as HBG 24565. This plant came to them in 1969 from the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden (UCBG 65.1558), who had received it through CSSA Journal editor and Lotusland curator Charlie Glass from John Lavranos, who in turn had received the plant from Dr Reynolds. In 2018 the Huntington Botanic Gardens introduced this plant, reproduced through micropropagation (tissue culture), through their International Succulent Introduction program as Aloe tororoana Reynolds ISI 2018-13 and we were fortunate to get enough plants from them for a small crop. We also have in our collection a plant of this species sourced from the Institute for Aloe Studies as Aloe tororoana IAS 15-032c. This plant also came from the Huntington Botanic Garden (as HBG 34082 accessioned in 1974 from Harry Johnson) but, because of the date received and data indicating it came from the type locality, is presumed to also be from the original Bally & Reynolds collection.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Aloe tororoana.
 
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