Ayr Branch BCSS
September 2005 Meeting &
Plant of the Month Competition
To open our 2005 session, we enjoyed a highly informative and entertaining talk on dwarf Aloes from Brian McDonough of the Glasgow Branch. Although Brian said he did not consider himself to be an 'expert' on Aloes his talk conveyed an extensive knowledge of the plants and their cultivation and hybridisation as well as a love for the plants.
For the first half of the evening, Brian illustrated the diversity of the genus in size, form and markings with many well-grown species from his collection ranging from a 2 feet tall grass Aloe with an impressive flower - no longer a dwarf!! - to 2 inch tall true dwarf forms. He then showed how hybridisation enhanced these properties with numerous hybrid plants he had produced by careful hand cross-pollination of the very delicate flowers. Such pollination allowed hybrids between species which, in nature, only grew many thousands of miles apart.
The second half of the meeting was based on slides of others of his plants and, in particular, of the flowers. Although basically a small tubular flower, in close up they displayed great beauty and variety of form.
Many thanks to Brian for a very pleasant start to the new session.
Plant of the Month Pictures - Aloe Group
High resolution versions of the photos are also available if desired.