An Investigation into Improving the Germination Rates of Aloe Polyphylla Schönland Ex Pillans

Carl Berthold


A germination technique trial was carried out to improve the germination of Aloe polyphylla Schönland ex Pillans (common name spiral aloe). These germination trials involved different media and temperatures, increased oxygen levels, and light and dark environments. The best results (90% germination) were obtained by vernalising the seeds for two weeks and then placing them in a sunny, but not bright, area with varying temperatures on a water-based medium of either 10% recommended fertiliser solution or in distilled water.
The germination of Aloe polyphylla was also compared to three other species in the genus: A. branddraaiensis Groenew, A. castanea Schönl and A. elegans Tod.. The results from this trial showed that, like A. polyphylla, these species can also germinate in water-based media.
The success of finding the key requirements for germination show that techniques of this type are important methods for conserving this threatened species and can also be a useful propagation tool for the horticulture industry. The lack of research on this plant highlights the importance of this work for conserving this spectacular species which is listed as Vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Plant Red Data list and is registered on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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