Aloe broomii Schönland
Mountain Aloe, Snake Aloe
Aloe broomii var. broomii
Aloe broomii is a succulent plant that forms a short-stemmed rosette of thick, fleshy, light green leaves with sharp brown teeth along the margins. It grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, usually solitary, although it may split into groups with 3 to 5 rosettes. Leaves are lance-shaped, 12 inches (30 cm) long, and up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide, with the upper third usually dry and brownish.
The most notable feature of this species is its odd inflorescence on which the buds and flowers are hidden by the extended bracts, giving it a snake-like appearance, hence its name. The inflorescences are densely flowered racemes, usually simple and up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. Flowers are pale greenish-yellow, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and appear in spring. They open in an approximately 4 inches (10 cm) long ring from the bottom of the inflorescence upwards at a time, but all that can be seen are the stamens and stigmas sticking out beyond the bracts.
The specific epithet "broomii (BROOM-ee-eye)" honors Robert Broom (1866-1951), a British-South African doctor and paleontologist, who collected the species in 1905 at Pampoenpoort, between Carnarvon and Victoria West, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
How to Grow and Care for Aloe broomii
Light: When growing A. broomii indoors, place your plant near a window with plenty of bright indirect light. Rotate the pot once or twice a week so that all sides of the plant receive equal lighting. Outdoors provide light shade, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
Soil: Plant A. broomii in a well-drained soil mix formulated for succulents or make your own. Drainage is essential because too much moisture around roots can cause root rot.
Temperature: This succulent grows at its best at temperatures between 50 to 85 °F (10 to 30 °C). When temperatures shift below 50 °F (10 °C), it is time to bring your plant back inside. A. broomii can withstand temperatures as low as 25 °F (-3.9 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
Watering: This succulent does need regular watering but is very tolerant of drought conditions for short periods. Water deeply, but only when the soil is dry. Cut back on watering during the winter months. Do not let water stand in the rosettes.
Fertilizing: A. broomii generally does not require fertilizer but may benefit from the extra nutrients. Feed with a fertilizer for succulents in spring and summer only. Be sure to follow the label directions.
Repotting: This plant is not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot it in the spring in a container a few inches larger in diameter every few years to keep it from becoming rootbound.
Propagation: Since it is a species with a usually solitary growth habit, A. broomii can be propagated only from seeds. For best results, sow seeds during the warm months.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
Toxicity of Aloe broomii
A. broomii is not listed as toxic for people and pets.
- Back to genus Aloe
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.