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Fan aloe

Kumara plicatilis

The Fan aloe is a unique and striking multi-branched shrub. The forked stems have clusters of strap-shaped leaves arranged in 2 opposite rows (distichous). The clusters resemble an open fan, hence it's common name. The flowers are a striking scarlet red and are visible from August to October. It is used as an ornamental garden plant. A unique feature is the corky bark, adapted to Fynbos veld fires.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Seeds should be allowed to dry for at least 3 months after flowering before they are harvested.

Propagation

Cuttings
Branch cuttings (truncheons) can be used and should be planted in well drained soil in a cool area that is not exposed to afternoon sun.
Seed
Plant seeds during spring in well-drained seed trays. Replant in the desired position when seedlings are large enough to handle and space 1.2 m - 2.4 m apart.

Special features

Attracts birds
Sugarbirds are attracted by the nectar that the flowers produce.

Geography

Origin
South Africa (Southwestern Cape, Franschhoek and Elandskloof)
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Notes
Ornamental and medicinal

Personality

Family
Asphodelaceae
Flower colour
Orange red to Scarlet red
Scent
None

Problems

Overwatering or poor drainage may lead to root rot, but is seldom a problem where plants are watered correctly.

Companion plants

Grows best in mineral poor sandy soil, and companion plants includes other Fynbos species.

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