Sunday, July 13, 2014

Transkei 1.5.1986 i - Aloe Pratensis

The four lovely stamps on this cover issued at Mount Ayliff in the erstwhile state of Transkei represent the various kinds of Aloe pratensis prevalent in the area. Aloe pratensis is a small to medium sized Aloe. The plants are found growing in rocky outcroppings and grassland. Aloe pratensis flowers in habitat from June to October.

Distribution of Aloe pratensis is in the Eastern Cape,Transkei,Lesotho and Kwazulu-Natal.
Aloe pratensis (Rocky Meadow Aloe) - A small clustering aloe with 8 inch wide rosettes of upright gray leaves that have sharp pale reddish-brown spines along the leaf margins and white tubercles on the lower leaf surface. Each rosette can produce up to 4 unbranched flower spikes with white papery bracts and pale peach to yellow flowers, usually between early winter and mid spring. This aloe comes from the Eastern Cape Province and KwaZulu Natal in South Africa where it grows from sea level up to high elevations in the Drakensberg Mountians. The specific epithet 'pratensis' meaning "growing in a meadow" is unfortunate as this plant is more often found growing among and wedged between rocks.  

Thank you Maria for this lovely cover with the four pretty stamps.

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