1. Family: Asphodelaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Aloiampelos Klopper & Gideon F.Sm.
      1. Aloiampelos ciliaris (Haw.) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm.

        Aloe ciliaris is the most rapidly growing of all aloe species and makes a showy climber for a frost-free conservatory. Dr G.W. Reynolds, who was an authority on South African aloes, attributed the discovery of this species in 1813 to William John Burchell (1781-1863). A keen plantsman, and son of Matthew Burchell, who owned the Fulham Nursery near London. W.J. Burchell returned from South Africa to England with his collections in 1815, and A. ciliaris was described by the botanist Adrian Haworth in 1825.

    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description

    Aloe ciliaris is the most rapidly growing of all aloe species and makes a showy climber for a frost-free conservatory. Dr G.W. Reynolds, who was an authority on South African aloes, attributed the discovery of this species in 1813 to William John Burchell (1781-1863). A keen plantsman, and son of Matthew Burchell, who owned the Fulham Nursery near London. W.J. Burchell returned from South Africa to England with his collections in 1815, and A. ciliaris was described by the botanist Adrian Haworth in 1825.

    Climbing aloe has become a popular greenhouse plant in Britain and can be grown outside in milder gardens such as that at Tresco Abbey on the Isles of Scilly. Chromosome studies undertaken at Kew revealed three varieties of climbing aloe: A. ciliaris var. ciliaris, A. ciliaris var. redacta and A. ciliaris var. tidmarshii.

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Aloe ciliaris is native to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, where it occurs from Uitenhage in the south to the Kei River mouth in the north-east, scrambling through thorny shrubs.

    Description

    A scrambling, succulent plant with long, slender stems that can reach up to about 10 m long. The dark green leaves, edged with white teeth, are arranged in open spirals along the stems. It can be distinguished from related species by the white teeth on the leaf bases sheathing the stems. The reddish-orange, tubular flowers, each up to about 25 mm long, are borne in short, loose clusters and pollinated by sunbirds. The fruit is an oblong capsule.

    Uses

    Climbing aloe is cultivated as an ornamental.

    Cultivation

    Aloe ciliaris will not tolerate frost and must therefore be grown indoors in frost-susceptible regions such as Britain. Climbing aloe should be provided with some kind of support, such as a pyramid or trellis. Propagation is by stem cuttings or from seeds.

    This species at Kew

    Aloe ciliaris , including the variety A. ciliaris var. tidmarshii , can be seen in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew.

    Alcohol-preserved, and pressed and dried specimens of Aloe ciliaris are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers, by appointment. The details of some of these, including one image, can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.

    Many of the botanical collections, drawings and manuscripts of William John Burchell, credited with the discovery of Aloe ciliaris , were presented to Kew by his sister, Anna Burchell.

    Distribution
    South Africa
    Ecology
    Dense, thorny thickets, often in dry river valleys.
    Conservation
    Not considered to be threatened.
    Hazards

    The leaves are harmful if eaten by humans or animals.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Cape Provinces

    Introduced into:

    Algeria, Canary Is., France, Juan Fernández Is., Morocco, Norfolk Is.

    Common Names

    English
    Climbing aloe

    Aloiampelos ciliaris (Haw.) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    May 2, 1985 Long, F.R. [701], South Africa Aloe ciliaris K000524351
    May 2, 1985 Bayliss, R.D.A. [7088], South Africa Aloe ciliaris K000524353
    Aloe ciliaris 2321.000
    Galpin, E.E. [22648], South Africa Aloe ciliaris K000524350
    Brandham [58/510], South Africa Aloe ciliaris 40729.000
    Csiba, L. [Chase 6005.B], South Africa Aloe ciliaris K000524352

    First published in Phytotaxa 76: 10 (2013)

    Literature

    Kew Species Profiles
    • World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (2010). The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Court, D. (2000). Succulent Flora of Southern Africa, Revised Edition. Balkema, Cape Town.
    • Van Wyk, B-E. & Smith, G.F. (1996). Guide to the Aloes of South Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria.
    • Brandham, P.E. & Carter, S. (1990). A revision of the Aloe tidmarshii / Aloe ciliaris complex in South Africa. Kew Bulletin 45(4): 637-645.
    • Hunt, D.R. (1978). Aloe ciliaris. Curtis’s Bot. Mag. 182: tab. 763.
    • Reynolds, G.W. (1950). The Aloes of South Africa. Trustees of the Aloes of South Africa Book Fund, Johannesburg.
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Danton, P. & Perrier, C. (2004). Liste de la Flore vasculaire de l'île Robinson Crusoe archipel Juan Fernández, Chili Journal de Botanique Société de Botanique de France 24: 67-78.
    • Orchard, A.E. (ed.) (1994). Oceanic Islands 1 Flora of Australia 49: 1-681. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Maire, R. (1958). Flore de l'Afrique du Nord 5: 1-307. Paul Lechevalier, Paris.

    Sources

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0