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Tree aloe

Aloidendron barberae

Eastern tree aloe (Eng.), Boomaalwyn (Afr.), Mikaalwyn (Afr.)

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A sculptural tree that forms a striking garden focal point. It is Africa's largest aloe, growing up to 15 m high and having a stem of up to 0.9 m in diameter. Its bark is grey and smooth and has green re-curved leaves with pink flowers in the winter. Cultivation is easily done from truncheons, seeds, ​and small stem cuttings. It branches dichotomously, the end result a rounded symmetrical crown. Lower leaves soon becoming deciduous.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Winter
Fruiting time
Summer, Spring

Harvesting

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

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds during spring or summer months. Plant in seed trays with coarse river sand. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. Replant in desired position when plants are large enough to handle.
Cuttings
Cuttings or truncheons should be left to dry for at least 3 weeks before planting them in river sand.

Special features

Drought resistant
Good drought tolerance, but will benefit from regular watering during dry spells.
Attracts birds
Nectar-loving birds including sunbirds are attracted by the nectar that is produced by the flowers.
Attracts useful insects
Butterflies and insects loving the sweet nectar.

Geography

Origin
It is native to coastal parts of the Eastern Cape and is found in a band that stretches through KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga and into southern Mozambique.
Natural climate
Subtropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Landscaping
Aloidendron barberae makes a striking garden specimen.

Personality

Family
Asphodelaceae
Flower colour
, Pink, Orange
Scent
None

Problems

Over watering or poor drainage can lead to root rot, but is seldom a problem where plants are watered correctly. The leaves may sometimes be susceptible to attack from aphids and scale insects which can be controlled with an oil-based spray.
Aphids
Aphids
Aphidoidea spp.

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