Aloe barberae

Botanical name

Aloe barberae

Other names

Aloe bainesii; boomaalwyn (Afrikaans)

Family

Asphodelaceae

Dimensions

Much-branched trees with prominent trunks, often over 15 m; tallest of the SA aloes

Description of stem

Can be over 2,5 m in diameter, usually with a broad 'foot' at ground level; bark even, grey-brown with a sandpapery roughness

Description of leaves

Dark green, smooth, recurving and longitudinally channelled; can be over a meter long on young plants, shorter on old trees; light-coloured edges with small teeth on the edges (only)

Description of flowers

Comparatively small and inconspicuous panicles of pinkish to orange flowers from May to August

Description of seed/fruit

Large green capsules

Description of roots

 

Variation

 

Propagation and cultivation

Grows easily from truncheons in different soil types; any stem with a rosette is likely to grow if planted in well-drained soil; the rosette is sometimes removed from a stem to induce the growth of multiple new branches, rosettes sprouting from the surface of the stem; once these are strong they are removed for transplanting

Tolerances

Not very drought or frost resistant

Uses

Sought after garden plant; becoming very common in parks and bigger gardens, fast-growing

Ecological rarity

Common, not threatened

Pests and diseases

 

Other

 

Location

Forest and coastal bush areas in warm and higher rainfall (above 750 mm p.a.) areas

Distribution (SA provinces)

Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga

Country

South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique

 


 

Aloe barberae in Gauteng; Photographed by Jack Latti

Fork in stem of Aloe barberae - Photograph by Johannes Vogel