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Aloe claviflora (Kraal Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Aloe claviflora Burch.

Common Names

Kraal Aloe, Cannon Aloe, Jackal's Tail Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe decora, Aloe schlechteri

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Aloe

Description

Aloe claviflora is normally stemless but in old plants, short stems may form which grow horizontally along the ground. Unlike other typical Aloes in arid areas, it does not have erect rosettes. Instead they face outward, giving them a characteristically asymmetric shape. The firm, leathery textured leaves are grayish green, sometimes with a whitish appearance, up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and have sharp, brown spines along the margins. There are also some spines along the middle of the lower surface of the leaf which extend toward the leaf apex. The inflorescence is never erect but always at a slanted angle almost prostrate on the ground. The inflorescences are usually unbranched but in rare cases up to 4 branches may appear. The young flowers are bright red, but turn a yellow and whitish color as they age with time.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Aloe is a very forgiving plant, and a well-grown plant can be quite beautiful. As with all succulents, it's essential that Aloe is never allowed to sit in stagnant water, and the plant should be carefully monitored to watch for signs of overwatering.

Aloe are not particularly fast-growing and will only rarely need repotting. Repot plants in the spring that are tipping over their pots or have ceased growing. Use a fast-draining potting mix with one-third sand or pebbles. During repotting of a larger plant, it is possible to carefully divide the root ball. Some kinds of Aloe will send off off-sets that can be potted independently.

It needs 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 cactus 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

Origin

Aloe claviflora is native to South Africa.

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