Aloe castanea

Botanical name

Aloe castanea

Other names

Cat's tail aloe; katstertaalwyn (Afrikaans)

 

Asphodelaceae

Dimensions

3 to 4 m tall, with multiple rosettes, usually starting with one stem dividing higher up; width can exceed 3 m; a rosette can exceed 70 cm in width

Description of stem

Lower leaves drooping, dead leaves persist around stem, lowest part bare, smooth, grey

Description of leaves

50 cm slender, yellow-green to light green, pointing upwardly with outer leaves opening widely, finely toothed on edges only; dry leaves persist apart from on the lowest part of the main stem

Description of flowers

Single, gracefully curving racemes, often over 1m long in well-growing plants; open flowers form a bright orange patch on the slender raceme, rich in nectar (July to August), may have up to six racemes from one rosette

Description of seed/fruit

Small, green pods

Description of roots

 

Variation

 

Propagation and cultivation

Transplants easily, even older plants, grows easily from seed, little watering, avoid shade

Uses

Garden plant, profuse volumes of pollen makes this aloe popular with bee farmers; ashes from the dry leaves has been used to protect grain from weevils

Ecological rarity

Common, not threatened

Other

 

Pests and diseases

Snout beetles

Location

Bushveld, grassland hills

Distribution (SA provinces)

Mpumalanga, Limpopo

Country

South Africa