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Kumara plicatilis (Fan Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Kumara plicatilis (L.) G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Fan Aloe

Synonyms

Aloe plicatilis, Aloe disticha var. plicatilis (basionym), Aloe flabelliformis, Aloe lingua, Aloe linguiformis, Aloe tripetala, Kumara disticha, Rhipidodendrum plicatile, Rhipidodendrum distichum

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Kumara plicatilis, formerly known as Aloe plicatilis, is a much-branched shrub or small tree, up to 16 feet (4.9 m) tall, with grey stems forked with clusters of strap-shaped leaves arranged in 2 opposite rows. The leaves are grey-green, succulent, oblong, tongue-shaped, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide. The racemes are cylindrical and are always single in each leaf cluster. The flowers are tubular, scarlet in color and each up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.

Photo via sandiegohomegarden.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 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 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Aloe

Origin

Kumara plicatilis is endemic to a few mountains in the Fynbos ecoregion of the Western Cape in South Africa.

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