Scientific: Aloe ferox
Common: Cape aloe, bitter aloe, tap aloe
Family: Asphodelaceae (formerly Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Origin: South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal), and extending inland as far as Lesotho. Aloe is a diverse genus that contains about 500 species found in South Africa from the western Cape and great Karoo into the Orange Free State.

Pronounciation: AL-o FER-ox

Hardiness zones
12 and 13 with protection, 16-24
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Cape aloe is a great accent plant for xeric gardens, container plant.

Form & Character: Succulent, upright, stiff, striking.

Growth Habit: Evergreen, herbaceous perennial that is arborescent in habit producing stems that arch to 6 feet in height.

Foliage/texture: Glaucous-green succulent leaves haveing a plethora of short spines (yellow to reddish brown), leaves that taper to a blunt tip and are sometimes up to 3 feet long. Old, dried leaves are persistent on the stem and form a dense rattling brown skirt. Cape aloe is strongly coarse textured.

Flowers & fruits: The inflorescence is a candelabra of tubular orange-red to yellow orange flowers on stalks standing 2 to 4 feet above the leaves. Individual flowers are about 1 inch long, tubular, and are densely packed in thick brushlike clusters on the stalks. Fruit are a multiocarpulate capsule, generally unattractive.

Seasonal color: Brilliantly colored winter flowers.

Temperature: Cape aloe is intolerant of freezing temperatures.

Light: As with most Aloe species in central Arizona, light shade or protection from western afternoon sun is best.

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Infrequent irrigations

Pruning: Removal of dead flower stalks

Propagation: Seed and stem cuttings, occassionally division of basal clumps.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Cape aloe flowers attract hummingbirds when in bloom. The home remedies derived from extract of cape aloe are mostly the same as those from Aloe vera. Cape aloe extract is also a treatment for constipation and other digestive disorders. Do you want some exotic Aloe ferox juice?