Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Brunia, Quaqua and Paranomus. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Shrubs and Succulents into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 170 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Regions Album is the one on the Langkloof. A new Parks and Gardens Album for the Caledon Wildflower Garden has also been created from existing material.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Aloe castanea

Botanical name

Aloe castanea

Other names

Cat's tail aloe; katstertaalwyn (Afrikaans)




3 to 4 m tall, with multiple rosettes, usually starting with one stem dividing higher up; width can exceed 3 m; a rosette can exceed 70 cm in width

Description of stem

Lower leaves drooping, dead leaves persist around stem, lowest part bare, smooth, grey

Description of leaves

50 cm slender, yellow-green to light green, pointing upwardly with outer leaves opening widely, finely toothed on edges only; dry leaves persist apart from on the lowest part of the main stem

Description of flowers

Single, gracefully curving racemes, often over 1m long in well-growing plants; open flowers form a bright orange patch on the slender raceme, rich in nectar (July to August), may have up to six racemes from one rosette

Description of seed/fruit

Small, green pods

Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation

Transplants easily, even older plants, grows easily from seed, little watering, avoid shade


Garden plant, profuse volumes of pollen makes this aloe popular with bee farmers; ashes from the dry leaves has been used to protect grain from weevils

Ecological rarity

Common, not threatened



Pests and diseases

Snout beetles


Bushveld, grassland hills

Distribution (SA provinces)

Mpumalanga, Limpopo


South Africa

Photo by Johannes Vogel


photo by Johannes Vogel

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