Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Aloe sinkatana surprise

The photo below shows three potted succulents in the backyard. The one on the left is Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’, pupping away merrily (the “mother plant” here is itself an offset from the original mother). The one in the middle, in the hollowed-out pumice rock, is Agave bracteosa ‘Calamar’, a solitary cultivar of the squid agave, which normally forms large clumps. On the right is Aloe sinkatana, a non-demanding small aloe from Sudan that blooms several times a year.

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Aloe sinkatana grows well in shady corners and thrives on neglect, as my plant has proven over and over again. And it produces babies at a moderate rate, allowing the love to be shared with friends and neighbors.

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After watering it last Saturday (the reason why it’s wet in these photos), I grabbed a pair of nippers and finally cut off the dead flower stalk that had been there since the summer.

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I’d been wanting to save the seeds but the seed capsules had popped open already and there was no seed left.

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Instead there was a surprise more welcome than any seed. Take a look at the dried flower stalk two photos up. See that thing in the middle? It’s a small baby!

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I have no idea how it came to grow there and, more importantly, how it kept itself alive all this time.

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It has no roots, but it looks perfectly healthy otherwise. I cut off the dried parts of the flower stalk all around it and put it in a small pot with dry soil. I’m hoping it will root before it gets cold.

Succulents: They always surprise you!

12 comments:

  1. That is amazing! Is it a seedling that germinated there? Seems like a seed could have lodged in the crook of the branch, although highly improbable. Is it a bulbil-type thing? Glad you spotted it!

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    1. Alan, I think it's what Alison says in her comment. Proliferation (or prolification): "Vegetative buds developing in the axils of the inflorescence" (source).

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  2. That's crazy-cool Gerhard. Plants are the best!

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    1. I couldn't agree more. The biggest surprise was how perfect that little aloe baby looks, considering the flower stalk was completely dried out.

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  3. I wonder if this is a proliferation? Daylilies sometimes do this. Hope it roots for you.

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    1. Proliferation! That's the word I was looking for. Somehow I couldn't get past the word "propagation."

      Yes, you're right. I think that's exactly what it is.

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  4. Remarkable! It's amazing that succulents (some of them anyway) haven't already taken over the world.

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    1. They're so eager to live and reproduce. Plants are truly amazing.

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  5. Those are reluctant to root, but certainly worth a try.

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    1. No roots on that offset as of today. But it's only been a week. I'm remaining optimistic.

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  6. Did this ever make it! Update please?!

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    1. Alisha, no, unfortunately the little bulbil never rooted :-(. But the mother plant is still happy, loving the heat.

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