The leaves of Aloe pearsonii are blue-green when in halfday shade and receiving adequate water. When stressed in drought conditions, however, as in its summer flowering season, these thick succulent leaves are often quite red as in the photo. This is also the season when they may be browsed by goats kept by Richtersveld farmers, or its roots eaten by hyraxes and other animals of the veld. Other parties living off this harsh land will increase their demands on every useful plant for moisture and sustenance in the ubiquitous struggle for survival.
In summer a multitude of insects and some birds, including sunbirds, also take nectar and pollen from the aloe flowers. If one looks carefully, a transactional process of reciprocation and mutual contributions help different parties in nature according to varying needs. Food chains and matrices are but simplified models of the interdependent networks of mutually dependent living entities that make up local biological economies. Pollination of flowers is thus a vital plant need fulfilled by all the specialist and generalist participant nectar seekers (www.plantzafrica.com).