Aloe africana

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Aloe africana
Aloe africana 1.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Aloe
Species: A. africana
Binomial name
Aloe africana
(L.) Burm.f.

Aloe africana (known as the African Aloe) is an arborescent species of aloe plant, indigenous to the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.


Details of inflorescence showing the distinctively up-turned flowers
Typically disorderly rosette of a plant in cultivation

The plant grows slowly and flowers when it is four to five years old. Flowering time is from winter to early spring (July to September in South Africa). Its large raceme is erect and may be branched or unbranched, and has tubular flowers that are orange or yellow.

Uniquely, the small flowers are each up-turned, with a distinctive bend. As this aloe species can sometimes look very similar to related species (e.g. Aloe excelsa or Aloe ferox), this feature is useful for identification.

The leaves are more messy or disorderly than the neat symmetrical rosettes of other arborescent Aloe species. They are arranged in a dense apical rosette and are spreading to recurved, firm linear-lanceolate, with a grey-green surface; each leaf's margins are armed with small, reddish teeth, a feature common in the Aloe genus.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This attractive species occurs in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where its distribution is centred on the area around Port Elizabeth.

It is mainly confined to hills and flats, growing in thicket and renosterveld vegetation. However it is able to adapt to a wide range of conditions. It often grows in association with Aloe ferox, A. pluridens and A. speciosa, and hybrids are not uncommon. The climate is moderate, without frost, and hot and humid during summers. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, from 600 to 700 mm per annum.[2]

See also[edit]


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