Also Known As: Golden Toothed Aloe, Gold Tooth Aloe, Green and Gold Crown, Saw Tooth Aloe
Category: Small to Medium Clumping Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9a-10b
OverviewAloe nobilis is a smaller clumping aloe about 18 inches tall and composed of fleshy green leaves which produces a colony of 5-6 inch rosettes by suckering profusely. This hybrid is a low-growing, rosetting aloe is a hybrid with triangular dark green leaves edged with small hooked teeth. When growing in full sun the leaves may turn a beautiful orange.
DescriptionForms a large rosette, up to 18 inches tall. The 'Gold Tooth Aloe' has large green leaves with white gold teeth along the margins. Depending on growing conditions sometimes the teeth are a creamy-white or yellow. The thorns on the edge of this succulent may look mean, but they won't harm you. The teeth glow when backlight by sunlight. The leaves have a narrow lanceolate, somewhat oval shape tapering at the apex to a point. 'Gold-Tooth Aloe' has green leaves that can turn orange when stressed or in full sun. Plants can develop a bit of rose color on tips. One of the most notable features of the 'Golden Toothed Aloe' is how profusely it produces offsets that can form a large colony. A variegated form has lanceolate emerald green leaves that are banded with golden yellow, and lined with gold marginal teeth. Curiously, sometimes entire offsets are pure yellow without any green.
FloweringThe bright orange branched inflorescences of Aloe nobilis rise above the foliage to about 2 feet tall in mid-summer. The tubular flowers are frequently visited by hummingbirds.
Origin / HistoryThis plant is thought by some to be a hybrid between Aloe mitriformis and A. brevifolia but others suggest it may be the result of a cross between Aloe distans and A. brevifolia. 'The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons' edited by Urs Eggli lists the name as being of unresolved application that should be rejected but this plant has long been in cultivation in the US and is quite common so it definitely needs a name. In 'Hortus Third' it is listed with the common names 'Golden Tooth Aloe' and 'Green and Gold Crown and described as being similar to A. mitriformis but leaves less concave above. This listing further notes it is perhaps of hybrid origins and suggests it is a cross between Aloe arborescens and A. mitriformis. Whatever its parentage, it is a stunning and tough plant that provides summer color.
Care / CultivationAloe nobilis prefers bright, filtered light for best color. Porous soil with adequate drainage and protection from frost is needed to keep this beauty happy. Prefers ample airflow. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch.
Frost TendernessHardy to about 20 degrees F.
Use in the GardenThe 'Gold Tooth Aloe' can be used outside in every type of landscaping but works well as a ground-cover as it spreads relatively quickly. The clumping character provides a pleasing texture and rosette pattern in garden plantings. Combine it with winter blooming aloes for a longer show of flowers. Excellent in rock, cactus and succulent gardens. It is deer resistant and attractive to hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. This is a great container plant particularly since it needs limited root space. This plant is ideal for making a succulent terrarium or a dish garden. This hybrid aloe has intense flower color and is well suited as a feature plant in small spaces.
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