The leaf surface of Aloinopsis luckhoffii appears like reptilian skin belonging to a not quite real inhabitant of Jurassic Park.
It consists of minute, raised patches spaced by dark channel lines, forming a flat surface of the patch tops. These patches form partial or incomplete patterns of curved rows.
Similarly obscure rows of large teeth or warts, in picture pinkish white like rose quartz, protrude above the the leaf surfaces. They are pointed and irregularly shaped, about evenly spaced and sometimes only present on the leaf margins.
The leaf is thickly succulent, widening to a somewhat triangular and recurved tip in a broad spoon-shape, about 12 mm wide. The upper surface is flat, the lower one rounded and bluntly keeled near the tip; the shape quite variable.
There are several very similar species of Aloinopsis: A. setifera has long hairy warts, A. villetii has short warts and A. lodewykii has intermediate ones as does A. luckhoffii. In all there are 14 or 15 species in the Aloinopsis genus.
This is one complex of closely related plants displaying some stable, discernible patterns in their characteristics as well as the inevitable grey areas associated with differentiation over time. Transformations blend into each other, tipping points often arbitrarily decided or taken as continuous in a range, depending on Monday morning or Friday afternoon judgment (Smith, et al, 1998; Herre, 1971; http://llifle.com).
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