Aloe peglerae Schonl.
Common names: Vuurpylaalwyn
Aloe peglerae is a small, stemless aloe, which grows on the north facing slopes of the Magaliesberg and Witwatersrand. These plants often occur in a small group. The leaves are greyish-green in color and tend to curve inward. The leaf margins of new growth have whitish spines as opposed to the reddish brown spines on older leaves. The backs of the leaves have spines midway from the base to the top. Aloe peglerae flowers in winter (July and August). This plant often has single flower stalk. The flower buds are dull red with purplish stamens protruding from the flower tube. The flowers are apparently pollinated by birds, bees and wind.
It is listed in the Red Data list of South Africa as an endangered species on the extinction queue if not protected or grown for ex-situ conservation. The greatest threat to this plant is caused by over collection in the wild by plant collectors and developments along the ridges where the plants occur. Currently at Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden, Aloe peglerae is a priority in the threatened plant program (ex-situ conservation) in collaboration with the Gauteng Nature Conservation Department. It is illegal to collect this plant from the wild. If you wish to grow this plant for conservation purposes, please contact the Gauteng Nature Conservation Dept.
Distribution and habitat
This aloe is endemic to South Africa occurring only in Gauteng and one other province (North-West province).
Derivation of name and historical aspects
This aloe species was named after an early plant collector, Alice Pegler.
Growing Aloe peglerae
In cultivation Aloe peglerae makes a stunning show especially in winter when there is little else in flower. The plants look good when planted in groups of three to five in natural grass vegetation as they appear in the veld. They can also be grown in large pots or in a rockery, if the drainage is good, but be warned - they are slow growing. Keeping them dry in winter helps to keep the plants healthy.
This aloe can be propagated from seed. Depending on the viability of seed the germination rate is often up to 60-70%. Seeds must be sown in the well-drained growth media and covered lightly with the fine silica sand.
Like most other aloes, this species is also susceptible to white scale, aloe cancer (also known as aloe gall) and aloe rust. It is not that easy to control the aloe gall, the best way is to cut off the infected leaf and treat the whole plant with insecticides and fungicides afterward. The same treatment applies for controlling rust.
- Jeppe, B. 1969. South African aloes. Purnell, Cape Town.
- Reynolds, G.W. 1950. The aloes of South Africa. The trustees of the aloes of South Africa Book Fund, Johannesburg.
- Van Wyk, B.E & Smith, G. 1996. Guide to the Aloes of South Africa. Briza, Pretoria.
Plant Type: Succulent
SA Distribution: Gauteng, North West
Soil type: Sandy
Flowering season: Winter
Flower colour: Red
Aspect: Full Sun
Gardening skill: Easy