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Pollination on Aloes

Pollination on Aloes

Birds are the main pollinators of aloes, aloes with longer pedicels (and flowers) like Aloe arborescens and most maculate are pollinated by sunbirds. Aloes with shorter pedicels (and flowers) like Aloe marlothii and Aloe ferox, are pollinated by birds with shorter beaks like weavers, starlings and bulbuls.

Top picture White-bellied Sunbird sipping nectar and pollinating on an Aloe arborescens-type hybrid (note how the aloe racemes below the open flowers are kept clear for the sunbirds to easily perch).

Second picture- a Cape Weaver, on a Aloe ferox flower, it has a shorter beak and pollinates this kind of tightly packed raceme. Pictures taken at The ALOE FARM by Koos van Niekerk in 2019.

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