Also Known As: Nubian Aloe, Aloe eru, Aloe grenadensis, Popcorn Aloe
Category: Small to Medium Clumping Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 8b - 11
OverviewAloe camperi, commonly known as Popcorn Aloe is one of the few that has verdant green leaves. This unusual African Aloe forms rambling colonies of 2’ high and wide rosettes with long, narrow, serrated, evergreen, succulent leaves.
DescriptionAloe camperi (Aloe grenadensis) is a clump forming Aloe that will eventually form a average clump of 3' to 4' feet spread and 2' to 3' feet tall. The toothy edges are soft to the touch, and user friendly, on long, strap-like, slightly recurving leaves. These aloes have a short stem and reach 24-36 inches (60-91 cm) in height and up to 24 inches (60 cm) around. Leaves are dark green, with white flecks near the stem on the leaf undersides. Shades of green with lighter colored striations make the leaves of Camperi very picturesque. Allowed time in the sun the leaves will change to shades of pinkish-red on this stemless rather large sized aloe. Popcorn Aloe blooms later in the season than most Aloes, so it is a nice extension of the flowering season going more into the spring than other Aloes which tend to be winter bloomers. The plant suckers to form clumps of stems. Aloe camperi is a heavy offset producer.
FloweringAn established colony of Aloe camperi in full bloom is truly a thing of beauty! 'Popcorn Aloe' blooms later in the season than most Aloes, so it is a nice extension of the flowering season going more into the spring than other Aloes which tend to be winter bloomers. This plant reliably produces 3 foot tall branched inflorescences with an abundance of salmon-orange buds that open to yellow flowers from the bottom up. The flowers are unique as they tend to be less tubular, and a little bit more puffy in a beautiful, soft apricot color. Flower stems are slightly candelabra, and arise above the plants by about 1.5 ft.
Origin / HistoryAloe camperi is from Eretria in northeastern Africa south to Ethiopia at elevations ranging from 4,600 feet to 8,300 feet and was first described using this name in 1891 by Georg Schweinfurth, a German who lived in Riga in the Baltic Provinces of Russia, from a plant collected at about 4,600 feet in the Great Valley above Ghinda in Eritrea. Schweinfurth named Aloe camperi for his friend Manfedo Camperio, an Italian born resident of Eritrea.
Care / CultivationFull sun coastal locations to some part shade hot inland locations, semi-rich soil, occasional water in summer, drought tolerant. Not extremely heat resistant in full sun for interior deserts such as Palm Springs or Arizona, although fine with some shade. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant. Provide excellent drainage for a happy plant. Aloe camperi is Easy to grow!
Frost TendernessCan tolerate brief periods overnight in the mid 20's F withut damage but prefers 50F and up.
Use in the GardenThis great landscape plant is very showy in full bloom and has been in cultivation in California for many years. Perfect as a focal point for any rock or urban xeriscape garden. Excellent as a large, dramatic, container plant.
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