Pronounciation: AL-o a-fri-KAY-na
Sunset 12 and 13 with protection, 16-24
USDA 9 (with some protection)-11
Landscape Use: African aloe is a great accent plant for oasis transitions gardens, container plant.
Form & Character: Succulent, upright, stiff, striking.
Growth Habit: Evergreen, herbaceous perennial, slow to moderate to 6 feet in height (lessor height in Phoenix), arborescent, rarely branched with leaf forming a dense apical rosette.
Foliage/texture: Glaucous-green succulent leaves, spreading to somewhat recurved, linear-lanceolate, leaf margins and lower side are armed with lines of small, short, but STOUT, reddish serrations (teeth) that can rip and tear stuff; coarse texture.
Flowers & fruits: The inflorescence is a candelabra of tubular orange (immature) to yellow (mature) flowers on stalks standing 2 to 3 feet above the leaves. Individual flowers are about 1 inch long, and are densely packed in thick brushlike clusters on the stalks, flowers reflex upwards in sun, but tend to hang down in the shade, attract hummingbirds. Fruits are a multiocarpulate capsule, generally unattractive.
Seasonal color: Brilliantly colored winter flowers.
Temperature: African aloe is intolerant of freezing temperatures below 30oF, and will develop a chilling injury response (reddened foliage) to temperatures less than 40oF.
Light: More than other Aloe species grown in central Arizona desert landscapes, African aloe needs protection from summer afternoon sun.
Watering: Infrequent irrigations especially during summer.
Pruning: Removal of dead flower stalks and dead foliage on vegetative stalks.
Propagation: Seed and stem cuttings
Disease and pests: None
Additional comments: African aloe is not commonly found in Phoenix landscapes and is not as environmentally tolerant as A. vera of Phoenix climate. Like other Aloe species, the African aloe attracts hummingbirds when in bloom. The common name, Uitenhage Aloe, describes the South African Uitenhage District where this plant is often seen.