Aloe lineata var. muirii
Category: Small to Medium Clumping Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b - 11
OverviewAloe lineata var. muirii is a medium-sized clustering species with tight one foot rosettes of yellow-green leaves. Distinct red lines appear on Aloe lineata's leaves and along the leaf margins. The margins also bear prominent red teeth which tend to give the leaves a brownish hue.
DescriptionAloe lineata var. muirii is generally a solitary and larger plant with a single or branched stem. The stems of old plants become very thick and the upper parts are covered with the remains of old leaves. Slowly. Aloe lineata becomes a larger stemmed aloe of up to 2 meters ( 6+ feet) in height, but not for many years. This species has a dense rosette of lanceolate leaves, which are about 400–500 mm long. The bright yellowish green leaves have very noticeable fine red lines on their smooth surfaces. Leaves are a bright green and extremely heavily armed with long, red-brown teeth that tend to point towards the center of the plant. Leaves are relatively brittle and inflexiblecand break readily of bent at all - revealing a brown, gooey sap.
FloweringFrom mid-winter to late spring, each rosette of Aloe lineata v. muirii may develop up to 4 simple inforescences up to 1.2 m (4 feet) tall. The inflorescence has large fleshy bracts that hide the developing flower buds, which emerge and then hang downwards. Flowers are spectacular, large, tubular in shape and their color ranges salmon to deep red (sometimes yellow-orange).
Origin / HistoryNative to South Africa in the Eastern Cape and the Little Karoo, from Ladismith and Riversdale to the Outeniqua Mountains in the Western Cape. The plant name 'lineata' means 'marked with parallel lines' and it refers to the lines that are present on the leaves. This variety is named after Dr John Muir (1874–1947), a Scottish plant collector, who discovered many new species of South African flora.
Care / CultivationThis plant's native habitat in the Little Karoo is an area that gets some summer rainfall and plants seem tolerant of both drier conditions and regular summer irrigation. Aloe lineata is best grown in an area with a soil that is freely draining, this helps prevent diseases such as rot. Plant in full sun.
Frost TendernessAloe lineata var. muirii thrives in areas with minimal frost. This plant's hardiness has not been well documented although it has survived undamaged to 25F. The species Aloe lineata (var. lineata) has proven hardy to around 20F and the variety muirii is likely as hardy.
Use in the GardenAloe lineata var. muiri is an attractive and rewarding garden plant. Its striking yellowish green leaves and tall flower spikes will give much needed contrast to any garden theme. A. lineata var. muiri is drought tolerant and an ideal plant to use in any landscape that strives to be water-wise.
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