Aloe erinacea D.S.Hardy
Locally known as Goree
Aloe melanacantha var. erinacea
Aloe erinacea is a small, slow-growing succulent with rounded, ball-shaped rosettes of brownish-green leaves with particularly long, black thorns on the margins. The leaves are narrowly triangular, up to 10 inches (25 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide at the base, Plants grow as single rosette or more often in groups of up to 10 or more dense rosettes. The stems are short and inconspicuous even in old specimens. Inflorescences are usually simple and up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall. The flowers are tubular, bright red, but turn yellow after opening. They appear in the winter.
USDA hardiness zones 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °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 is essential that Aloe is never 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. Repot Aloes 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 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.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aloe.
Aloe erinacea is native to the arid areas of Namibia.
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