Aloe cameronii, Cameron's Red Aloe, is an unusual Aloe from Malawi originally discovered by Kenneth J. Cameron, a Scottish planter working on experimental crops for the African Lakes Corporation at the end of the nineteenth century. It is thought that Cameron found the Aloe that would later bear his name on the Namadzi Estate near Zomba where he worked at the Cotton Reseach Station. He sent a specimen to RBG Kew in 1894 and it arrived the following year and flowered for the first time in February 1903 enabling botanist, Wiliam Botting Hemsley to describe it. Hemsley worked all his life at Kew, starting at the tender age of 17 in 1860 and rising to become the Keeper of the Herbarium and Library.
When young, Aloe cameronii displays long narrow green foliage usually maculated with pale spots, gradually developing to an erect spreading bush with full rosettes capable of turning an astonishing coppery-red colour in full sun.
In UK conditions, this is a tender Aloe and it will need to be brought indoors during winter. A cool glasshouse will not be warm enough - even under fleece. It requires winter warmth and a position on your windowsill is ideal although in spells of severe subzero temperatures it would be wise to bring it away from the glass. Warmth is a general requirement for Aloe cameronii. Leaving it on your windowsill thoughout the summer would make no sense. Move it to a sunny protected outdoor spot or in the heat of your glasshouse. Under these conditions it can be watered regularly with an occasional liquid feed. All watering should stop in October when it will need to come in for the winter and be kept resolutely dry until late February/early March when a little water can be gradually reintroduced for the next growing season.
A choice gem, rarely available
Thanks to Theo Campbell-Barker for his original research into Kenneth Cameron used in this description
|Synonyms||Aloe cameronii var. cameronii|
|Cultivation||Full sun. A free-draining mineral substrate. Water only in the growing season. No water from mid-October to late February. Warmth at all times|
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