It is well-known that aloe juvenna and aloe squarrosa are often confused (in many internet sites). Even some give it as synonyms, wrongly, since the former comes from Kenya and the latter from the Socotra islands. The latter is distinguished by its longer leafs, among other things. I thought I could distinguish them well, but then I came accross this picture #1 from a botanical garden (sorry, I lost track of the source), saying it is a squarrosa (though it looks like a juvenna to me).
I have three of these aloes (pictures #2-4) and I classify them as juvenna. Am I right? Or are they squarrosa after all?
Last edited by Daniel Mosquin; May 18th, 2010 at 09:55 AM.
Reason: Merged 2 posts into 1
I feel that all of the previous pictures are juvenna. The plant on the right in the linked picture appears to be a slightly etiolated juvenna. Note less teeth, slightly longer leaves and internodes (a good etiolation indicator). The leaves of squarrosa tend to recurve, and squarrosa is larger in scale, and easier to flower than juvenna. Aloe juvenna is sometimes referred to as Aloe zanzibarica, and there are a number of similar hybrids ('Mini belle' is one example). There are lots of mistagged plants and pictures, so it's very easy to mistake one form for another. HTH!
The plants pictured look mostly like Aloe juvenna. I have not seen this in habitat but have grown it for a long time. I have seen Aloe squarrosa in Socotra hanging off the cliffs and it is not as pictured (excepting the plant at HBG)
The difference between the two with the leaves is so simple.....squarrosa has leaves that are recurved the other does not. juvenna holds the leaves and makes rope like stems with leaves, squarrosa does not do this.
The biggest problem has been that the confushion has not been helped by several "book writers" that have misidentified these in print and photo.
Mostly you see juvenna in cultivation and the other one not so much.
There's been so much written about these 2 aloe types and there are many many pics of them on the web but none showing either in flower. It seems they're reluctant bloomers outside their natural habitat. I've had A. Juvenna plants growing for at least 8 years out in the open in various positions (sunny, semi shade etc) but never had any flower until now - quite out of the blue.
Aloealoe, thank you so much for sharing your blooming A. juvenna with us! I've had mine for several yrs. & have never seen a flower on it. I believe I've only once seen pix of blooms from a friend. Nice to know what I might look forward to in the future. :) Your plants look very happy!