Cactus and Succulents forum: Which agave is this?

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Name: Tamara
Fresno County, California (Zone 9b)
Monetwwqi
Oct 11, 2018 12:20 AM CST
Which agave is this?


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Name: Ângelo B. P. III
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BlueOddish
Oct 11, 2018 12:48 AM CST
I'm not so sure that's an Agave. It could be an Aloe.
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Hamwild
Oct 11, 2018 12:49 AM CST
I agree , looks like an Aloe.
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Oct 11, 2018 1:13 AM CST
Aloe.Because i cant see hard woody spikes on the edges, or spikes on the surface of the leaves, and the shape, think its an aloe vera "barbadensis"- the cultivar most popular with plantations because of improved medicinal properties. Main characteristic is the average larger size than chinensis, and the apparent lack of spots(most recognizable feature of the aloe vera chinensis ).
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Oct 11, 2018 1:13 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Oct 11, 2018 8:37 AM CST

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Aloe vera.
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Hamwild
Oct 11, 2018 9:51 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Aloe vera.


A. barbadensis or chinensis (because I see both listed as 'Aloe Vera')? I'm all ears!
Name: Tamara
Fresno County, California (Zone 9b)
Monetwwqi
Oct 11, 2018 10:27 AM CST
Must have beed confused by it's size. I've never seen an aloe this big.
Thanks
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Oct 11, 2018 10:31 AM CST

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Aloes can grow to be pretty huge (the max height is about 60 feet for the trees) but your plant is at the upper limit for Aloe vera.

Hamwild said:A. barbadensis or chinensis (because I see both listed as 'Aloe Vera')? I'm all ears!


The former is an old (invalid) name for Aloe vera, the latter is an old name for Aloe officinalis. I realize the database here does not support the latter conclusion but that's because the CoL has not caught up with the decision made in the "Definitive Guide" book to aloes. The two plants can be distinguished based on a few features: Aloe vera is larger, has fewer spots, and flowers yellow, not coral or orange (though some officinalis plants can flower yellow).

Curiously the Latin names barbadensis and chinensis (which mean "from Barbados" and "from China" respectively) do not bear any relevance to the origin of these aloes, which are both from Arabia. The other Latin names make more sense: Aloe vera is the "true" aloe, and Aloe officinalis is the "medicinal" or "pharmacological" aloe.

It is a little surprising that the plant in the OP is so large without any pups, as Aloe vera typically offsets like crazy, but maybe they were recently separated. A flower picture would be necessary to confirm the ID with certainty.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 11, 2018 10:56 AM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Oct 11, 2018 10:41 AM CST
I dont know about that, but it sounds like youre implying that there are 2 different species called aloe vera, one being the "true " one, and the spotted is called officinialis. Ive noticed that you also use "phedimus" as a species. Dont know how up to date this data is, but ive not seen a lot of publications online supporting this "aloe officinialis" or even phedimus. Might be new, might be old, might be unique to north america. Unless wikipedia or lllifle or whatever else is popular on the internet makes it official, i will not recognize these names.
http://www.llifle.com/Encyclop...
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Oct 11, 2018 10:42 AM (+)]
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Name: Tamara
Fresno County, California (Zone 9b)
Monetwwqi
Oct 11, 2018 10:45 AM CST
No pups is another reason I thought it wasn't an aloe. Just enlarged one of my photos and saw a dried flower stalk on the ground. I'll have to call my niece to ask what color the flowers were.
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Oct 11, 2018 10:46 AM CST

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Yes, the flower color would be a valuable piece of information. I would love to be proved wrong. Smiling

skopjecollection said:I dont know about that, but it sounds like youre implying that there are 2 different species called aloe vera, one being the "true " one, and the spotted is called officinialis. Ive noticed that you also use "phedimus" as a species. Dont know how up to date this data is, but ive not seen a lot of publications online supporting this "aloe officinialis" or even phedimus. Might be new, might be old, might be unique to north america. Unless wikipedia or lllifle or whatever else is popular on the internet makes it official, i will not recognize these names.
http://www.llifle.com/Encyclop...


Aloe officinalis is a species. It is distinct from Aloe vera, another species. Both species names date to the 18th century (1775 and 1768 respectively). They are very well documented. Whether or not you recognize the names, the literature does. The name officinalis makes it very clear that aloe was known centuries ago for its medicinal use.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 11, 2018 10:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Oct 11, 2018 11:02 AM CST
While the 2 are listed as different species, and as synonyms, aloe vera chinensis is still aloe vera, not aloe officinilais, the reason for that is that aloe o. is rarer in cultivation, much more so than aloe vera.
https://davesgarden.com/guides...
http://www.cactus-aventures.co...
In addition there is the undeniable fact that some sources label aloe officinialis with red /orange flowers, while other depict it with yellow. This means, that in fact they are not as well documented as you claim them to be.
So, again. I'm all ears!
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Oct 11, 2018 11:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Oct 11, 2018 11:20 AM CST
If we go back to the trigona debate, think the same may apply for a.vera. Its been cultivated for who knows how long, who knows how, and its origin is mostly a misery,suspected of being a hybrid . While the presence of a natural occurring species may validate a place of origin, its very improbable that a certain vague species in a 200years old expedition may have a similar level of popularity as the cultivated one....
While the latin name does mean medicinal, its not been mentioned as such in older writings(arabian and roman)....
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Oct 11, 2018 11:22 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 11, 2018 11:26 AM CST

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Stefan, the documentation is there in the literature. Have you looked at any source other than the internet?

The subject is discussed at some length in the Definitive Guide, which I would consider a better source than Wikipedia or the other web sites you mentioned. I would recommend you find a copy of that book and read what they have to say. The authors of that book (Carter/Lavranos/Newton/Walker) were living encyclopedias of aloe lore. Sadly John Lavranos passed away earlier this year. In the book, they explain the difference between the two plants alternatively or formerly known (depending on your point of view) as Aloe vera and Aloe vera chinensis.

Aloe barbadensis was a former name for Aloe vera. Not too long ago that name was retired when it was understood that Aloe vera was an older name (by 10 days), and thus took precedence. The longer name has been retired from use but still pops up now and then from old-timers.

Aloe vera is fundamentally different from Aloe officinalis, or Aloe vera chinensis, whatever you want to call the other plant.

The medicinal use is different. Aloe vera (the "true" Aloe vera) is used for topical relief of skin ailments. Aloe officinalis (or whatever name you like) may be consumed as a medicine. (I do not recommend consuming any aloe you cannot definitely identify as medicinal, which generally requires seeing the flowers.)

Critically, Aloe vera is incapable of growing true from seed. It is propagated only from offsets. The other aloe can be grown from seed. I have grown seedlings from it, so I speak from experience.

The flowers on Aloe officinalis (or whatever name you like) are different from the flowers on Aloe vera. They may be red, orange or yellow, usually orange or coral, whereas the flowers on Aloe vera are strictly yellow. The flowers on Aloe vera are also characteristically ventricose, which means they have a little belly. The racemes are also different in other ways.



I would argue that Aloe officinalis (or whatever name you like) is actually very common in cultivation, just under another name. It's not as common here as Aloe vera, but it's somewhere in the top 5.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 11, 2018 2:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Oct 11, 2018 11:52 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Stefan, the documentation is there in the literature. Have you looked at any source other than the internet?

The subject is discussed at some length in the Definitive Guide, which I would consider a better source than Wikipedia or the other web sites you mentioned. I would recommend you find a copy of that book and read what they have to say. The authors of that book (Carter/Lavranos/Newton/Walker) were living encyclopedias of aloe lore. Sadly John Lavranos passed away earlier this year. In the book, they explain the difference between the two plants alternatively or formerly known (depending on your point of view) as Aloe vera and Aloe vera chinensis.

Aloe barbadensis was a former name for Aloe vera. Not too long ago that name was retired when it was understood that Aloe vera was an older name, and thus took precedence. The longer name has been retired from use but still pops up now and then from old-timers.

Aloe vera is fundamentally different from Aloe officinalis, or Aloe vera chinensis, whatever you want to call the other plant.

The medicinal use is different. Aloe vera (the "true" Aloe vera) is used for topical relief of skin ailments. Aloe officinalis (or whatever name you like) may be consumed as a medicine. (I do not recommend consuming any aloe you cannot definitely identify as medicinal, which generally requires seeing the flowers.)

Critically, Aloe vera is incapable of growing true from seed. It is propagated only from offsets. The other aloe can be grown from seed. I have grown seedlings from it, so I can speak from experience.

The flowers on Aloe officinalis (or whatever name you like) are different from the flowers on Aloe vera. They may be red, orange or yellow, usually orange or coral, whereas the flowers on Aloe vera are strictly yellow. The flowers on Aloe vera are also characteristically ventricose, which means they have a little belly. The racemes are also different in other ways.

I would argue that Aloe officinalis (or whatever name you like) is actually very common in cultivation, just under another name. It's not as common here as Aloe vera, but it's somewhere in the top 5.

If you cant find it on the internet.... ill let you decide.
Im looking at other sources referring it, but ill either have to pay ridiculous amounts of money(like the definitive aloe guide which cost about https://www.amazon.com/dp/1842464396/ 400euros(nope nope nope Thumbs down Thumbs down Thumbs down Thumbs down Thumbs down )), or be a member of some research group(good luck with that).
Think your aloe officinialis may be aloe massawana, but i dont really know.
All i can tell you is that only the "exclusive " definitive aloe guide does this mix up. Literature or not, there is not a whole lot on the internet supporting this.
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Oct 11, 2018 11:56 AM CST
I know this much, aloe vera is supposed to have exclusively yellow and sterile flowers.
If you red blooming lookalike is fertile, it should be clear indicator that it hasnt been cultivated by humans for that long or that intensively....
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Oct 11, 2018 11:58 AM CST

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skopjecollection said:All i can tell you is that only the "exclusive " definitive aloe guide does this mix up. Literature or not, there is not a whole lot on the internet supporting this.


I'm surprised you would say the book has things mixed up without even reading what they have to say.

Apparently the book is now out of print, which would explain the current high prices. I would imagine it will come back into print in due time. It's a real serious book with incredibly detailed info about 500+ aloe taxa, and it should be in the collection of any serious cactus club. Apart from a few changes in names based on DNA studies (the recent splitting of the genus), the taxonomy presented in that 2011 book has stood the test of time quite well. The authors also make it clear where they disagree about names of plants (for example whether or not to separate Lomatophyllum).

There is also a long history of publications in the scientific literature (like the original descriptions of the species and several studies on their medicinal effects) which support the differences that I have described.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 11, 2018 12:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Oct 11, 2018 12:09 PM CST
True. It might be good. But, remember how the whole aloe genus got split up overnight(might be exaggerating here), it kind of shocked me at first... the internet followed suit instantly......
Now, ill say this, a.officinialis is kind of vague. I m well aware of the cultivation mixup that can happen(like it did with cereus peruvianus https://cactiguide.com/article...) but, so far, ive not encountered articles like that surrounding aloe vera and aloe officinialis....
I even expect them to split aloe even further, into at least 3-4 genera, like an aloe vera group(stemless, mostly spineless, short plants), aloe ferox group(spiny, unbranching treelike -marothii ), and tiger tooth ,creeping group .(juvena, jucunda). While these are speculations, its not impossible(i dont know about you, but i wasnt expecting the split, so now anything seems possible).
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Oct 11, 2018 12:49 PM (+)]
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Hamwild
Oct 11, 2018 1:12 PM CST
Baja_Costero said:Aloes can grow to be pretty huge (the max height is about 60 feet for the trees) but your plant is at the upper limit for Aloe vera.



The former is an old (invalid) name for Aloe vera, the latter is an old name for Aloe officinalis. I realize the database here does not support the latter conclusion but that's because the CoL has not caught up with the decision made in the "Definitive Guide" book to aloes. The two plants can be distinguished based on a few features: Aloe vera is larger, has fewer spots, and flowers yellow, not coral or orange (though some officinalis plants can flower yellow).

Curiously the Latin names barbadensis and chinensis (which mean "from Barbados" and "from China" respectively) do not bear any relevance to the origin of these aloes, which are both from Arabia. The other Latin names make more sense: Aloe vera is the "true" aloe, and Aloe officinalis is the "medicinal" or "pharmacological" aloe.

It is a little surprising that the plant in the OP is so large without any pups, as Aloe vera typically offsets like crazy, but maybe they were recently separated. A flower picture would be necessary to confirm the ID with certainty.


So is vera the species name? Hehe, I've always seen those two species mentioned as being 'Aloe Vera,' so I had no idea neither was the true plant and it sounds like 'Aloe Vera' is Aloe vera correct? Just making sure I understand. I guess the information (well, another gardening forum) I read was so incorrect, I'm embarassed!
[Last edited by Hamwild - Oct 11, 2018 1:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 11, 2018 1:16 PM CST

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Yes, correct. Aloe vera is the species name.

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