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Fynbos Aloe
Aloaceae
Aloe succotrina


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb

Aloaceae Family

Aloe Genus

Location

Native to Africa, from the Western Cape

Physical Description
Plants of Aloe succotrina are cluster-forming and can grow to 1,5 m. tall, but are usually 1 m. tall. Leaves form dense rosettes. Leaves are ascending curved and tapering; 500 X 100 mm in size; dull green to greyish-green with scattered white spots. The margins have firm, white, triangular teeth.

The simple flower spikes grow to a meter and appears during mid-winter. The racemes grow to 350 mm. The tubular flowers are shiny, dark orange red and striking. Individual flowers are 40 mm long. The fruits ripen during spring when they release the small, black seed





General Information

It was the first aloe from South Africa to be introduced into Europe. It flowered in Amsterdam in 1689. An illustration of Aloe succotrina first appeared in 1691 in Plukenet's "Phytographia" and shortly afterwards it was figured by Jan Monickx (1689-1690) in Commelin's "Hort. Amst" in 1697. Although it found its way to Europe so early, this aloe does not appear on the famous list of aloes cultivated in the Dutch East India Company's garden in 1695, drawn up by Oldenland, the superintendent at the time.

Medicinal Uses: Used both internally and externally on humans, and is claimed to have some medicinal effects, which have been supported by scientific and medical research. Aloe is used externally to treat a number of skin irritations and good for natural acne treatment

Cultivation: it should preferably be grown in a sunny, well drained spot. The best place is a rockery among monkey stone (Table Mountain sandstone). Enough space should be provided as it will divide and proliferate to form dense clusters to 2 m. in diameter. It also grows well in coastal, strandveld and sea-front gardens. It is striking in winter when in flower. Plants grow well in containers too. This aloe does not, however, do well in summer rainfall gardens and rich soil. For best performance feed with compost annually. It takes from three to four years for a young plant to reach flowering stage

Propagation: Plants can be propagated both vegetatively by offshoots, division or seed. Offshoots can simply be broken off or cut with a sharp knife or pruning shears. Dust the wound with sulphur to prevent fungal contamination. This form of propagation can be done at any time of the year.

Seed should be sown fresh during spring or summer in shallow seed trays in a sandy soil mixture (2 parts sand, 1 part garden soil, 1 part sieved compost for peat). Cover the seed with a 1-2 mm sand layer and keep moist. Germination is within 3 weeks. Keep moist. Soft rot will contaminate seedlings so use a fungicide regularly or pretreat the seed with a systemic fungicide. The young seedlings can be planted out into small containers once large enough to handle (after a year).





Fynbos Aloe


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