Aloe arborescens

Botanical name

Aloe arborescens

Other names

Krantz aloe; kransaalwyn (Afrikaans); inkalane (Zulu)

Family

Asphodelaceae

Dimensions

Many-branched aloe, a shrub of often over 2 m tall and spreading

Description of stem

Branching grey to beige stems with numerous new shoots easily starting on thriving plants to give the plant a bushy and dense appearance

Description of leaves

Fleshy and soft, curving back more or less in different climates, often more so in coastal forms, where leaves may be darker green than the dull green characteristic ones in some inland forms; only the edges are armed with forwardly curved thorns

Description of flowers

Several unbranched inflorescenses may occur per rosette, the colours varying in a pinkish-red range, with occasional yellow-flower plants; flowers occur in the early winter

Desciption of seed/fruit

 

Description of roots

 

Variation

Distinct form variations according to the region of origin; the yellow flower variety is less seen

 

Grows very easily from cuttings in a variety of circumstances, often less likely to suffer from disease than other aloes; copes with shade and varying amounts of watering, although flourishing in sunny conditions

Propagation and cultivation

Grows easily from stem cuttings or seed

Tolerances

Grows vigorously in a variety of habitats

Uses

Common garden species; according to one writer this aloe was used for treating radiation burns of Japanese patients after Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Ecological rarity

Not threatened, common

Pests and diseases

 

Other

Crosses very easily with several other aloe species; closely related to Aloe mutabilis which has bicolour racemes and broader leaves; should now be taken as a variation of A. arborescens

Location

From coastal scrub to mountainous areas in bush and exposed rocky outcrops

Distribution (SA provinces)

Southern and eastern coastal provinces of SA as well as the Limpopo Province

Country

South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia


Aloe arborescens on rocks; Photographed by Ricky Mauer

Aloe arborescens; Photographed by Ricky Mauer

Aloe arborescens; Photographed by Ricky Mauer