Astroloba rubriflora (L.Bolus) Gideon F.Sm. & J.C.Manning
Apicra rubriflora, Aloe rubriflora, Apicra jacobseniana, Haworthia rubriflora, Poellnitzia rubriflora
Astroloba rubriflora is a succulent plant with multiple stems densely covered in dark green to glaucous green leaves coated with a waxy layer. It produces offsets at and near the base. Stems are erect when young, ascending when old, and up to 10 inches (25 cm) long. Leaves hard, smooth, usually four-ranked in spirally arranged rows, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long and 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. They become brownish when grown in full sun. Flowers are orange-red with greenish tepals and appear in summer arranged in horizontal racemes.
The specific epithet "rubriflora," meaning "red-flowered," refers to the peculiarly-formed red flowers with green tips.
USDA hardiness zone 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Astroloba plants are increasingly popular as succulent ornamental due to the extraordinary beauty of their leaf structure. Some have intricate patterns of lines, margins, spots, and raised tubercles on their leaves. Nearly all of them display a crystal-like regularity in their leaf arrangement. This is not always apparent in wild plants, usually disfigured by their harsh habitat.
In cultivation, Astrolobas are at their best when provided with some protection from full sun. However, Astrolobas can become remarkably beautiful and ornate in a semi-shade environment with extremely well-drained soil and gentle conditions.
Unfortunately, when conditions are not ideal, occasional random leaves can die, shrivel up and go brown all along their stem. This is unfortunate because, as explained, much of the beauty of the plants comes from the intricate, crystalline pattern of their leaves. However, this disfigurement can be avoided by keeping the plants in optimal, fertile conditions – growing steadily and sheltered from stress.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Astroloba.
This species is found in the mountainous Karoo area around Robertson, South Africa.
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