Also Known As: Graskop Aloe
Category: Single Head Tree Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b - 11
OverviewAloe alooides, also known as graskop aloe, is a single-stemmed tree aloe from coastal South Africa. Making quite a specimen in any garden and reaching 6-8 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide, the green-blue, limpid looking leaves fall gracefully downward.
DescriptionThe single usually unbranched stem can be as much as 7 feet tall and the mature leaves are long, strongly recurved, and armed with reddish-brown teeth. The old leaves create a grass hula skirt or they can be cleaned off the trunk to accent the green tops. Leaves are green in color and can have a reddish tinge in times of drought. Aloe alooides is distinguished by its nearly thornless leaves and strongly recurved, so much so that they may actually touch the stem.
FloweringAloe alooides has beautiful upright 3 foot flower spikes of green buds open in winter to a nice bright yellow that matures to an orangey-brown. Up to five single racemes of small, bell-shaped flowers may grow in season from the leaf rosette of a thriving plant. The nectar inside the flowers is loved by birds & bees.
Origin / HistoryIronically the specie name 'alooides' means 'resembling an aloe' because it was originally in a different genus. The common Afrikaans name is Graskopaalwyn which means Grass Head Aloe when directly translated. It comes from a very restricted habitat in the mountains of Mpumalanga Province in South Africa, growing from 4000-6000 feet in altitude, in shallow soil on dolomite ridges. Although range restricted, the species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat.
Care / CultivationBe careful about removing the leaves if you live in a hot climate, since bare Aloe tree trunks can sunburn in hot, hot sun.
Frost TendernessAloe alooides can tolerate a light frost.
Use in the GardenAloe alooides makes a spectacular focal point in a garden due to the long trailing, eye-catching leaves and stunning, tall flower stalks that are bee magnets. The Graskop Aloe can also be planted in masses to create a striking colony of plants.
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