Colin Walker | The Aloes of Ethiopia

Saturday, June 11th at 10 am PST

Colin Walker | The Aloes of Ethiopia


Ethiopia and Eritrea together form a biodiversity hotspot for the genus Aloe with 50 species, of which around 75% are endemic to these countries.

The diversity of Ethiopian/Eritrean aloes will be described and illustrated, both in habitat and in cultivation. Aloes in these countries show quite a range of diversity and many are high altitude, large-growing species.

There are notably no tree aloes, sprawling aloes nor grass aloes in these countries. Small-growing spotted (maculate) aloes are also somewhat limited in their diversity. Many species are very localized in their distribution and several species have been collected only rarely.

The presentation ends with a few images showing aloes of as yet uncertain identities.

Who is Colin Walker?

Colin is a retired biology lecturer who is currently an honorary researcher at the Open University, England. He now lives in Scotland with his wife Marjorie, where they enjoy nurturing a varied garden and a substantial succulent collection.

Colin has had an intense interest in succulents since childhood which greatly expanded after his parents bought him his first greenhouse for his 18th birthday. He has notched up 54 years of growing, studying, writing about and presenting on succulents.

Very early on his interests focused on the other succulents so his first greenhouse was mainly filled with Haworthias and Aloes. Now his collection consists principally of Agaves, Aloes, Euphorbias and Sansevierias, together with some cacti.

His love of books began on day one and his library now encompasses an extensive range of succulent books. Also included are many books which previously belonged to well-known celebrities in the world of succulents. His oldest original book is an English herbal from 1578, but if he could take just a single book to his Desert Island it would be Gordon Rowley’s A History of Succulent Plants (Strawberry Press, 1997).

Colin’s research has focused on the biodiversity and taxonomy of succulents, notably Aloes and Agaves. In 2011 he was co-author of Aloes – The Definitive Guide with Susan Carter, John Lavranos & Len Newton, published jointly by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the British Cactus & Succulent Society (BCSS). He is currently working on the 2nd edition of The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants published by Springer. The two volumes on monocots (Agaves, Aloes, Sansevierias, etc.) appeared in 2020. Work is now in progress on a dicots volume that includes the Euphorbiaceae and succulent mallows (Malvaceae) such as the iconic baobabs (Adansonia spp.) from Africa, Madagascar and Australia).

Over the years Colin has had various roles in several societies. For 15 years he was co-editor, then editor, of Bradleya, the yearbook of the BCSS, equivalent to the CSSA’s Haseltonia. He has just retired as BCSS president after eight years.

Important Details:

Cactus and Succulent Society of America
CSSA Webinar. Saturday, June 11th 10:00 am

Raw Registration Link: 

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