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Aloe distans (Jeweled Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Aloe distans Haw.

Common Names

Jeweled Aloe, Golden Tooth Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe mitriformis subsp. distans

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Aloe distans is a sprawling succulent that crawls along the ground or climbs up over rocks or other obstacles. The long, trailing stems bear blue-green leaves with golden spines on the margins. They are topped with tight rosettes which are up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. The plant suckers along its stems so that the many outwardly-moving heads radiate many feet out from the center. Older stems are bare near the center showing silver-gray stems clinging to the ground. In mid-summer to fall, appear the capitate heads of coral tubular flowers.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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, 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 sand or pebbles. During the 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 a 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

Native to South Africa.

Hybrids

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