Hybridisation happens when a bird or an insect accidentally deposits pollen from one species on the flower(s) of another. The seeds that form as a result of this so-called cross-pollination hold the genetic key to plants that are different from both the parent plants. The resulting seedling(s) grow up to be hybrids showing a combination of characteristics of the parent plants. Normally the pollen ‘donor’ is called the father, and the seed bearing parent the mother plant.
At Sunbird Aloes we pride ourselves in the fact that we do not market inferior quality plants, and we do not bestow a cultivar name on an aloe hybrid unless it adds a new dimension to what nature herself has to offer. The breakthrough at Sunbird Aloes came more than 30 years ago when the realisation struck: we can improve on nature by selecting our parent plants for their flowering colour and performance. The simple premise is that the offspring of an aloe with 50 racemes on its inflorescence will produce better flowers than those from a plant with 10 racemes. The results are evident in our range of super-floriferous (this means they flower like crazy!) aloe cultivars.
The current range of selected aloe hybrid cultivars will be built out to become the most comprehensive collection anywhere in the world. Already the plants on offer provide a wide range of flower colours and plant sizes to choose from. Every now and again new cultivars will be added to the list – there are many waiting in the wings.
The Sunbird Aloes hybridisation programme goes back more than 40 years. Since then the data base of new aloe hybrid combinations has grown steadily to its current size of close to 8000 records. From these 8000 combinations the poor flowering performers, the substandard colours, the plants with fungal susceptibility and the ones incapable of dealing with plenty of water have been weeded out. What is left are nearly 250 of the most floriferous, most colourful and best adapted (to garden conditions) aloe hybrids imaginable.
Ndundulu Aloes: Telephone: 0827272075
Address: Dundulu Farm, cnr R34/R66, Nkwaleni (near Eshowe), KZN, 3816.
Web site: htpps://www.ndundulualoes.com
Ruthe Gray joined the Sunbird Aloes family in 2015 as a licensed grower, and she now grows a top selection of Sunbird Aloes cultivars. The nursery is based on Dundulu Farm, on the corner of the R34/R66, Nkwaleni (near Eshowe), in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Please phone Ruthe for an appointment before visiting the nursery. We are very excited to have Ruthe on board, as she is a qualified horticulturist and educator by trade.