Aloe brevifolia Mill.
Blue Aloe, Crocodile Jaws, Crocodile Plant, Short-leaved Aloe
Aloe brevifolia var. brevifolia
Aloe brevifolia is a small succulent that forms stemless rosettes of lance-shaped glaucous leaves with a few soft spines in the median line or irregularly scattered in the upper third and margins armed with firm, whitish, deltoid teeth. The rosettes can reach up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and produce offsets from the base, forming dense clumps. The leaves are thick, fleshy and can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) broad.
The flowers are scarlet-pink, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, slightly curved, and appear in a simple, cylindric to conical, lax at base denser distally raceme on up to 20 inches (50 cm) long peduncle with sterile bracts in late spring.
Aloe brevifolia is native to South Africa. It grows in shales and coastal limestone from Botrivier to Riversdale in the Western Cape province.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Aloes are very forgiving plants. However, as with all succulents, Aloe must never be allowed to sit in stagnant water, and the plant should be carefully monitored to watch for signs of overwatering.
These succulents are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. However, in the spring, repot Aloes that tip over their pots or have ceased growing. Use a fast-draining potting mix with one-third of sand or pebbles. When repotting a larger plant, dividing the root ball carefully is possible. Some varieties of Aloe will send off offsets that can be potted independently.
Aloe plants need strong, bright light. They can withstand full summer sun once acclimated. In the winter, provide bright light. It prefers warmer temperatures of 70 to 80 °F (21 to 27 °C) but will survive down to 40 °F (4.5 °C). Feed with a succulent fertilizer in the summer only. Suspend feeding in the winter as the plant goes dormant.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
Forms, Cultivars, and Hybrids
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