Aloe distans Haw.
Golden Tooth Aloe, Jeweled Aloe, Short-leaved Aloe
Aloe mitriformis subsp. distans
Aloe distans is a sprawling succulent plant with stems growing along the ground, rooting, and bearing glaucous green leaves with margins armed with golden yellow deltoid teeth. It usually produces offsets at the base forming dense groups. The stems are tipped with a tight rosette and can grow up to 10 feet (3 m) long. The leaves are lance-shaped, somewhat fleshy, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, and up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) broad. They occasionally have a few scattered, whitish spots above and usually 2 to 4 spines at the tip of the keel.
Flowers are dull scarlet, subcylindrical, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and appear in dense clusters on simple or branched, up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall stalks from mid-summer to fall.
Aloe distans is native to South Africa. It is restricted to the West Coast of the Western Cape province, occurring from St Helena Bay to Saldanha Bay.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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.
Aloes 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 of sand or pebbles. When repotting a larger plant, dividing the root ball carefully is possible. Some kinds of Aloe will send off offsets that can be potted independently.
It needs an intense, 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.
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