Also Known As: Coral Aloe
Category: Single Head Stemless Aloes
USDA Hardiness Zones: 9a - 11b
OverviewAloe striata, with the common name 'Coral Aloe', is a small, stemless South African Aloe species. Aloe striata is a beautiful succulent up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall and up to 2 feet (60 cm) wide, with rosettes of a few flat, broad, pale gray-green leaves that vary in color depending on the amount of sunlight.
DescriptionThe 'Coral Aloe' is often sold as a solitary plant but will slowly produce new rosettes and eventually form colonies to 3 feet wide. The Foliage of this solitary Aloe might extend to 2 feet above the ground surface. The plants grey-green rosettes are striped with darker green and have translucent red margins. Aloe striata has flat broad that leaves will blush pink in cooler weather or when the plant is under stress. The leaves have notable dark narrow lines running longitudinally (though more pronounced on the ssp. karasbergensis) and toothless, nearly transparent leaf margins. In hot full sun the foliage is pinkish and in more shaded spots they are often bluish-green.
FloweringAloe striata gets its name for its coral-red blooms which appear in late winter into early spring. It produces up to three 2 foot (60 cm) tall stems that branch and hold clusters of Brilliantly colored coral-red flowers. The flowers are held, all at the same level, on many branched stalks and brighten the garden for up to three months from winter to spring. Fruits are green and multi-carpulate on long branched stalks and are not particularly showy.
Origin / HistoryAloe striata is widely distributed in the dry areas of the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa, growing from 800 to 7,300 feet in elevation. The specific epithet 'striata' is from the Latin adjective 'striatum' (strio) meaning 'grooved' or 'striped', in reference to the longitudinal stripes of the leaves. Be wary of imposters - much of what is sold as Aloe striata in the nursery trade is actually a garden hybrid that has teeth along the leaf margins - for more information on this see our page on Aloe striata hybrid. karasbergensis and Aloe buhrii is also another species that is similar and sometimes confused with this species. Due to the similarity of their species names, Aloe striata is sometimes confused in literature with Aloiampelos striatula (syn. Aloe striatula, hardy aloe) — a very different plant, found in the highlands of the Eastern Cape.
Care / CultivationThough Aloe striata is quite tolerant of dry conditions, a plumper plant can be obtained with regular to occasional irrigation so long as soil drains well. From South Africa, this species also has the distinction of not being particularly picky about where it grows, tolerating dry conditions, a regularly watered situation, full sun, part shade and whatever soil you happen to have on hand. Aloe striata will thrive in gravelly, well-draining soil. This is a fast growing aloe in mild climates. Aloe striata will develop from a small seedling to a mature 2-foot flowering plant in two years. Being quite adaptable to most conditions, from shady/moist to full sun, hot and dry, it is very useful in many garden situations.
Frost TendernessCoral aloe is hardy to 20 to 25 degrees F.
Use in the GardenAloe striata is a small-scale clumping aloe for bold textural accent in planting locations ranging from full sun to partial shade, small scale ground cover or edging plant for succulent or rock gardens, great patio container plant or walkway plant. Plant in groups or us as a solitary specimen in the ground or in a large container. Perfect in succulent and cactus gardens and a nice contrast to low-flowing grasses. Works well near walkways and swimming pools as it has no teeth or spines. Very showy when in flower but also during the rest of the year due to its attractive foliage. Flowers attract nectar-loving hummingbirds and insects.
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