Category: Small to Medium Clumping Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b - 11
OverviewAloe deltoideodonta is a small, slow growing, clustering Aloe from southern central Madagascar with stunning, broad, longitudinally striped leaves and a usually unbranched inflorescence.
DescriptionAloe deltoideodonta produces pups from the base to make a cluster of rosettes with pale green 6 to 8 inch long by 2 inch wide leaves with prominent darker-green parallel lines and straw-colored margins. The leaves are wedge-shaped and flattish, blue-green and marked with faint lines, white spots, and a vaguely pink margin, and they tend to gain a reddish glow when stressed. Leaves are straight and not easy to bend without breaking, short and lancelote. This plant is an aggressive off-setter and has thick, very fleshy, almost rubbery pale green leaves with a subtle translucence to them. This plant has a rather unique appearance, and though there are a few other lineated Madagascan aloes (most notably Aloe manandonae), they are far rarer and tend to be solitary species. There are three distinct varieties of Aloe deltoideodonta, with a few cultivar variations thrown in. It clumps from the base, eventually forming a small mound.
FloweringFlowers of Aloe deltoideodonta are also rather unique for a Madagascan aloe, being pale to deep salmon colored and blooming early in the 'aloe season' (mid fall to late fall). It occasionally is shy to bloom but every so often it can surprise you in late summer with a good show of short-branched or unbranched conical inflorescence with green-tipped pale orange flowers that open to near white and deflex downward. The flowers are held in a dense panicle and are orange-red. The inflorescences of Aloe deltoideodonta are often simple, but sometimes branched.
Origin / HistoryThis stemless or short-stemmed Aloe from rocky slopes from 2,100 to 2,600 feet elevation in the mountainous Fianarantsoa province of southern central Madagascar. The species comes from rocky sandstone hills at around 3,300 feet in elevation in southwest Madagascar. The name 'deltoideodonta' means 'triangular teeth' in reference to the shape of the teeth on the leaf margin and the variety name 'candicans' meaning 'whitish' (or becoming white) is likely in reference to the flower color which fades to near white. Aloe deltoideodonta variety candicans is also frequently assigned to this plant, but it does NOT have lineated leaves.
Care / CultivationPlant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and water occasionally in summer months. In cultivation it is best suited to warm temperate climates.
Frost TendernessAloe deltoideodonta is reported to have been outside during cold nights down to 25 F without any damage. Fortunately flowers are usually early enough that they are unaffected by the cold snaps in warmer climates.
Use in the GardenThis is an attractive plant for a small to medium sized container or in a well-drained spot in the dry garden.
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