Aloe africana

13 Apr

Aloe africana (28/02/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Aloe africana (28/02/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Winter to early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Sub Family: Asphodeloideae

Aloe africana is a slow growing evergreen perennial with an upright rosette forming habit. Its grey/ green fleshy leaves are linear lanceolate with red toothed margins, up to 65cm long and arranged spirally. This plant will slowly form an erect stem. Its orange/ yellow flowers are tubular, up to 55mm long and appear as erect racemes.

Aloe africana Leaf (28/02/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Aloe africana Leaf (28/02/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Aloe africana, commonly known as African Aloe, is native to Eastern Cape, South Africa. In its native habitat it grows in thickets.

The etymological root of the binomial name Aloe is derived from the Semetic alloeh a name for this genus. Africana is derived from the Latin meaning ‘from Africa’.

The landscape architect may find Aloe africana useful as a suitable specimen plant in a rock or desert garden setting. Its is also suitable for growing as a house plant, suitable for bright conditions. Once established this plant is drought tollerant. Care should be taken when locating this plant due to the sharp teeth found on its leaf margins.

Ecologically, Aloe africana flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Aloe africana Flower (28/02/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Aloe africana Flower (28/02/2016, Kew Gardens, London)

Aloe africana prefers moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

When maintaining Aloe africana as a houseplant its soil should be watered regularly. Watering should be reduced during the winter months. Its preferred active growing temperature rages from between 18ºc to 28ºc, although it will tolerate a temperature as low as near freezing. Feeding with weak fertiliser solution should be carried out once a month during the growing season.


DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

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