Here’s another beautiful Aloe which I have yet to add to my collection.
A. polyphylla is a stemless Aloe with an amazing spiral arrangement of leaves giving it its common name of Spiral Aloe. Spiral phyllotaxy is common in the plant kingdom packing a maximum number of units into a limited space. The mathematical model which describes this is the Fibonacci series. The specific epithet, polyphylla, is Greek for ‘many leaves’. It flowers in early summer producing pink/red flowers, but not until the plant has a minimum of 90 leaves.
It is endemic to the Kingdom of Lesotho in the Drakensberg mountains and is an endangered and protected species listed in CITES Appendix I. CITES, (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
The main threat to this Aloe is illegal collecting from the wild. It is difficult to cultivate as it doesn’t produce suckers or offsets, restricting propagation to growing from seed. It does not do well if moved from its usual habitat most likely dying soon after.