Category: Single Head Stemless Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 10a - 11
OverviewAloe secundiflora is widespread in the open grassland and bushland in Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania. This attractive, stemless Aloe forms a large rosette of broad, glossy, spear-shaped leaves with brown teeth along the margins that look bronze in full sun.
DescriptionAloe secundiflora is a plastic-like plant with unbendable shiny leaves which rarely offsets. Usually an acaulescent rosette of spreading, glossy, dull glaucous green leaves. The leaves are usually slightly recurved at the tips. Young plants often have spots on their leaves, especially the undersides. Has a deep cup on cross section and moderately sharp, large, red-brown teeth along the leaf margins. Leaf color from light green to maroon and often a variety of colors within same leaf when they receive more sun. Color of leaves in hot summer is bronze, though some plants are bronzer in fall.
FloweringThe 1 meter tall, branched inflorescence of Aloe secundiflora has up to 20 spreading branches, each with a cylindrical raceme of flowers. The flowers themselves are simple and may vary in color from red-pink to pale pink. Aloe secundiflora flowering times seem to be variable though most flowering goes on from mid winter to early spring.
Origin / HistoryProduces a beautiful inflorescence with flowers turned upright along mostly lateral flowering stalks (hence the species epithet). Aloe secundiflora is native to grassland and open woodland on rocky soils in Tanzania between 750 and 2000 m. In some areas, wild plants are harvested on a sustainable basis and the same plants can be used for many years. In areas where there is no established tradition of harvesting, wild plants are frequently destroyed while collecting the exudate. Its sap is widely used medicinally, the roots in brewing local beer.
Care / CultivationAlthough Aloe secundiflora is drought tolerant it needs water to develop new leaves. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Irrigate in summer months and try to keep drier in winter. The plant is well adapted to dry semi-arid conditions in the tropics and subtropics Seems to like sun or shade, but flowers best in sun. Not a winter grower, so supposed to be kept dry then, yet tolerates heavy winter rains OK in coastal climates in Southern California.
Frost TendernessIt is a hardy species showing some cold damage though at temps below 28 F.
Use in the GardenIt is planted to form live fences, and is grown as a garden ornamental in warmer climates.
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