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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-12-20
Categories: Cacti
Camera: Canon Powershot S1-IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Nature's Oddities [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-12-23 4:32
Viewed: 4823
Points: 43
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Best Wishes from ManYee

Spiral Aloe
Aloe polyphylla

The spiral aloe is a rare and beautiful aloe from the high Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. It does not occur naturally anywhere outside Lesotho with the exception of one record on the Lesotho border with the Free State. There are apparently also unsubstantiated reports of it growing in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg.

The most striking feature of this aloe is the perfect spiral in which the leaves are arranged. This may be clockwise or anti-clockwise. The spiral is formed by five ranks of leaves which contain between 15 and 30 leaves each. The plants are stemless and usually not multiple although they grow in dense groups. It has become a prized collector's item and is possibly also used for muthi. Due to this and the specific habitat requirements, the numbers in the wild have diminished and it is now listed as endangered. The change in the water regime due to overgrazing is also a possible reason for decreasing numbers. Natural regeneration is from seed as the plants do not form off-shoots.

Aloe polyphylla grows in high altitude grassland, between 2000 and 2500 metres - sometimes higher - although apparently only on the more easterly facing slopes at these higher altitudes. This could be due to the cold, where it may be important for the plants to receive early morning sun in winter. The plants are sometimes also under snow in winter. The spiral aloe grows in basalt rock crevices on very steep slopes with loose rock which aids in keeping the plants very well drained. They often grow in the mist and cloud belt in Lesotho. Although soils are well drained, the plants here have a continual flow of water in the summer months. The rainfall is very high and the summers very cool at these high altitudes in Lesotho.

The leaves themselves are broad and have a grey-green colour. The tips usually become dark, purplish brown and are quite sharp. The margins are irregularly toothed. Plants have approximately 150 leaves each, which explains the name "polyphylla". "Poly" means "many" and "phylla" is Greek for "leaves".

The flowers are attractive, ranging from dull red to salmon-pink. They may be yellow occasionally. The infloresence is branched with each flower head being quite compact. Plants usually flowers in spring and early summer.


petrudamsa, Luc, khris_rino, klemmg, scottevers7, coasties, loot, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: Thank you : )manyee 1 12-30 14:35
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Critiques [Translate]

Way too creative Manyee! Love it! :)

Hi Manyee,
that's a wonderful Christmas-card, I love your creative work very much.
What a perfect plant, thank you very much.
Have pretty Christmas-days and all the best for 2006.
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Wow, this is great!
I've never seen anything like that before. I like it very much.

Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year!

Thanks Manyee for your interesting and sweet postcard.Thanks for the comments, advice and suport on my posts. Thanks for you leting us to see your splendid photography.

Regards and Merry X-mass, Petru

Hi Manyee,

I have to compliment you on the artistry of this picture. Really interesting. Well done.


  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2005-12-23 10:26]

Hello Manyee, bien belle composition trés structurée!! le graphisme est superbe. Very well done and Merry Christmas to you and freinds, Didier.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-12-23 11:02]

Merry Christmas to you and to those whom you cherish, Manyee, and thanks for sharing your beautifull pictures. I really believe that it is worth to make it to be in contact with our increasingly small world.
I am at Granby with my father. We have a great time together preparing the banquet to come for Christmas.
Take care my young friend.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-12-23 13:37]

Hi Manyee, I'm not normally keen on frames within frames but I think this one works quite well here. Lovely geometrical pattern. Good shot, well done.

Merry Christmas!

Lovely work Manyee! The partial color trick works very well here and puts some cheer into this gorgeous geometric pattern. Theres a lot of beauty in nature. Thanks for finding this one and Happy holidays!!

Nice Christmas post Manyee,
Good detail and colours. Great POV and sharpness.
Nicely composed and good exposure.
Thanks for posting.
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2005-12-23 15:25]

HI Manyee, very artistic trek nature, great card.
All the best and enjoy christmas. Greetings Reina

  • Great 
  • klemmg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 302 W: 40 N: 484] (1719)
  • [2005-12-23 15:37]

Black and white works very well to focus on the interesting spiral pattern. Also like the red color of the frames, and the double-framing with the outer picture-frame darker. All works to concentrate the focus on the center spiral, while the single red flower lets the eye wander to the rest of the picture again. A work of art, and a great eye-catcher.
Merry Christmas ManYee!

Hi Manyee,
Superb presentation. Very unique and artistic!
Perfect for the Holiday Season.

Wow! Really nice and superb composition. Thank you Manyee and Happpy Holidays to you.

Like your picture.
All the very best fro the New year and Happy Holidays

Hi Manyee

Only 2 hours till Christmas day here in New Zealand. No critique this time, just to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.

Very nice Manyee, Thank you! No time for comment but well deserved :-) ...

Very beautiful Christmas card Manyee and very creative, the spiral pattern is fantastic. Merry Christmas! :)

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2005-12-28 12:11]

Thanks and happy holidays to you too. Great "card" I like the composition of it with the colors and B&W. Good note too. Thanks again,


What an interesting idea. Well done and Happy New Year to you!

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-01-10 14:15]

Hi ManYee

Wow, what a fabulous, original, and creative presentation. I just love it. This is almost as if there are 3 photos in one. The inner square with the very sharp and well exposed spiral aloe, the outer square with the rest of the plant, but somewhat subdued in brightness, and then of course the magic touch of the brightly coloured and joyful little flower at the bottom left corner. Add to this the very fitting and complimentary frames surrounding the various areas and you end up with a most interesting and pleasing result. Wow, again. It sure was a fitting way to convey your holiday greetings.

Excellent work and TFS.

PS. Although I am too late for the holiday greetings and all that stuff addressed on this photo (heck, it was 2005) at least we have exchanged our greetings for this year (2007) and well wishes on other postings.

Dear Manyee,
I have seen this plant before on TN, but I still find it bizzare!

Thanks for sharing your work, and I add the photo to my theme "nature's oddities"

Warm greetings from the Tzaneen Dam (Limpopo) South Africa

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