photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
T. Knight | profile | all galleries >> Boyce Thompson Arboretum 2011 >> The Story of Aloe Petricola 2010.025 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Story of Aloe Petricola 2010.025

This is the story of an aloe. It's name is petricola. Its official Boyce Thompson Arboretum accession number is 2010.025. Its previous number from a private collection was 0919. If my memory is correct I ordered seed of several species of aloe from a seed source in England back in about 1990. One of those species was aloe petricola. I planted all the seed, but the petricola seed must not have germinated very well, because I remember there being only a few plants that I eventually put in one gallon pots. This particular plant was planted in the front yard at my place in Apache Junction. It did well under that old mesquite tree my mother planted years ago. It even survived the bad freeze of January 2007. Things happened and I had to leave the place in Apache Junction. On April 27, 2010 I was one of three Groundskeepers who came to the old place with shovels to remove plants I was donating to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. This Aloe petricola was dug up on that day. It was planted in the South African area at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, under a pistachio tree. It was doing very well until the first week of February, 2011. That's when the worst freeze I've ever experienced hit the Arboretum. There were three nights of freezing temperatures for prolonged periods of time. The petricola, along with many other plants at the Arboretum, was hit hard. It is only one of many damaged plants, but I chose it for this story because I knew the plant, I grew it from seed and the damage to it was terrible to look at. Its leaves froze solid and there are long splits in about six places where the leaves actually cracked. The leaves are discolored. Instead of a nice bluish-grey they're a dead brownish-grey color with darker splotches. The leaves are limp and flat on the ground, not erect. Looking at it last week I could see that the bases of the leaves were still alive, had good color and were hard and firm, not mushy. The crown leaves looked good also except for one that was blackened. I am going to take pictures of it regularly to show its progress as it struggles through this hardship. I don't know how this part of the story of aloe petricola 2010.025 will end. It will live or die. I think it will live...

UPDATE: 06-12-2011. Sadly, Aloe petricola did not survive. The freeze damage was too great. The plant rotted. There is another aloe with a similar story that did survive, but I didn't take photos of it. It is an Aloe globuligemma that was so severely damaged by the same freeze that the entire plant above ground level died long before the Aloe petricola did. A few weeks ago I noticed little live shoots from this plant pushing out of the ground from the root stem which apparently survived!
Aloe petricola 2010.025 on May 19, 2010 with healthy erect leaves
Aloe petricola 2010.025 on May 19, 2010 with healthy erect leaves
February 18, 2011 After three nights of freezing temperatures. Showing cracked leaf
February 18, 2011 After three nights of freezing temperatures. Showing cracked leaf
February 18, 2011
February 18, 2011
February 18, 2011 notice how the leaves have flattened
February 18, 2011 notice how the leaves have flattened
February 18, 2011 showing live tissue in crown leaves
February 18, 2011 showing live tissue in crown leaves
February 18, 2011 more splits
February 18, 2011 more splits
March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 16, 2011
March 16, 2011
April 06, 2011. Tissue to lower left of crown still green
April 06, 2011. Tissue to lower left of crown still green
April 29, 2011. Tissue to lower left of crown is now dead.
April 29, 2011. Tissue to lower left of crown is now dead.
April 29, 2011
April 29, 2011
April 29, 2011.  Leaves removed.
April 29, 2011. Leaves removed.