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Thursday 23 November 2023


Aloe greatheadii is in the sub-grouping of aloes called 'spotted aloes' and currently includes a number of synonymous species previously recognized in their own right such as Aloe daveyana, Aloe verdoorniae, Aloe mutans, Aloe graciliflora and Aloe barbertoniae. Opinions differ on the specific status of many aloes, so this should not be taken as a definitive determination.

There are two variants listed in the Plants of Southern Africa checklist, A. daveyana and A. greatheadii, but whether even this is a legitimate separation is open to question. The Guide to the Aloes of South Africa gives Zimbabwe as the main center of distribution for var. greatheadii, ranging also into Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and Congo, and entering South Africa in the Northern Province, whereas var. daveyana is limited to South Africa but inhabits a greater range there. 

Common names include spotted aloe in English, and transvaalaalwyn, kleinaalwyn or grasaalwyn in Afrikaans. The PlantzAfrica website says that it is "a drab and uninteresting plant, but when it flowers in winter, it is spectacular." This is a stemless species with shiny green leaves marked by oblong white spots arranged in rows and leaf margins with sharp brownish teeth. The flowering stems are typically branched and the inflorescences contains flowers that range from pale pink to bright red, blooming June to July. Its leaf sap can be used to treat burns, sores or wounds.

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  1. Thank you for sharing different types of aloes! Aloha

  2. Alohas are such wonderful blooms. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Wonderful as a nature and flower lover, these are gorgeous.
    I visited you via FFF622 - SPOTTED ALOE.
    I linked up this week with = 9. Come and join us at #WordlessWednesday #Photography Wednesday - Saturday. You will find the info under BLOGGING.