Also Known As: Goliath Aloe
Category: Tree Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b - 11
OverviewThe moderately popular hybrid Aloe 'Goliath' is a tree-like aloe hybrid that grows 12+ feet tall with long broad medium green leaves that arch over and taper to a long narrow tip.
DescriptionThis hybrid, which involves Aloe vaombe, A. barberae, and A. dichotoma, is a rather massive tree eventually, as the name suggests. Aloe 'Goliath' averages 8 to 12 feet in height with a spread of 4 to 5 feet. Problem with the Aloe 'Goliath' hybrid is it insists on growing a larger and larger head of massively thick, heavy, drooping, long, rubbery green leaves on a ridiculously skinny trunk inherited from Aloe vaombe. The main contribution of the Aloe barberae seems to be in the thick, heaviness and rubberiness of the leaves weighs at least a few pounds, possibly 5-10. Leaves have almost no teeth along their margins. The Goliath Aloe has a vase-like upright form, slightly arching leaves with parallel veins and a fast growth rate. It will produce pups or offsets.
FloweringMature Aloe 'Goliath' plants produce an inflorescence in late fall or winter that branches near the crown of leaves with many upright branches that rise 2 to 3 feet bearing salmon to orange flowers. Flowers are very similar to Aloe vaombe flowers but not quite as spectacular.
Origin / HistoryAloe 'Goliath' is believed to have originated as a garden cross of the large South African tree aloe, Aloe barberae (A. bainesii), and Aloe vaombe from Madagascar. The plants were selected as seedlings by Don Newcomer of Serra Gardens, who had these two plants situated together in his garden in Malibu Canyon. The plant looked large and stout so the name Goliath seemed a natural name.
Care / CultivationPlant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Once established, it has good drought tolerance, but will look better with water in dry spells and needs very little, if any, water in winter. This plant shows hybrid vigor which may exceed its own ability to support itself. The stems of some older specimens have been known to break or fall over from their own weight so the best advice for this plant is to try to grow it slowly by not applying too much water or fertilizer lest the large foliage heads become too heavy. This plant is a fast grower, even more so if given ample water and fertilizer in the warm months.
Frost TendernessSeems to be hardy down to at least 25 F.
Use in the GardenMakes an excellent landscape plant for the cactus & succulent garden.
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