Succulents of Madagascar
One of the species being targetted for conservation in Madagascar is Aloe suzannae, a large succulent prized by collectors and thought to be on the brink of extinction. The species is only known from a handful of herbarium specimens collected more than 50 years ago from areas that have subsequently suffered considerable degradation to the natural vegetation. With time running out for the species, in November 2003 seed collectors from Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Project unsuccessfully tried to track down one of the last known sites.
Not deterred by this failure and working on a hunch, Kew botanist Solofo Rakotoarisoa and SNGF leader Mamy Andriamahay returned with a team to a nearby area in April 2004 and found a small population of Aloe suzannae. The plants were not fruiting, but they will return again and collect seed for banking. Some of the seeds will be grown at the Antsokay Arboretum near Toliara in Madagascar in order eventually to re-establish plants in the wild. Kew’s Madagascar Threatened Plants Appeal is funding this part of the work.
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There are no plants of this species on show at Kew
Search Kew's electronic Plant Information Centre for scientific information about Aloe suzannae