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ALOE zanzibarica

Image of Aloe zanzibarica

Altman Plants

Family

Aloaceae

Botanical Name

ALOE zanzibarica

Plant Common Name

Zanzibar Aloe

General Description

This is a little jewel box aloe that is at home in frost free gardens, pots on the porch or indoors where there is bright light. As its name suggests, this ground hugging Aloe originates from the dry climates of Zanzibar, a small island off the coast of Tanzania.

Zanzibar aloe develops little upright rosettes that elongate over time and travel horizontally, rooting as they go. In addition, it produces lateral plantlets, or pups, over time to form colonies. Sometimes the original point of attachment to the mother plant rots away and the pups become independent to start the process over again. Its small, slightly toothed, fleshy leaves are lime green with white bumpy spots on the edges and surface, which lends a unique texture. In full sun the foliage may attain a brownish hue.

This little aloe blooms every spring. Each rosette produces a leafless wiry stem, called a scape, topped with a conical cluster of bright red, tubular flowers. They are exquisite and highly attractive to birds and bees. In southwestern North America they will even attract hummingbirds.

This sun lover is adapted to well-drained limestone soils, so it grows best in slightly alkaline medium. It is typically grown in pots, but also grows well in frost-free gardens with naturally rocky or sandy soil. It will take full sun on the coast but prefers partial sun to bright filtered shade in hot inland landscapes. When its growth becomes too lanky, simply prune it back to the central plant to force more rosettes to form.

Some consider this species to by synonymous with Aloe squarrosa.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-8" / 10.2cm - 20.3cm

  • Width

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Lime Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Lime Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Lime Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Lime Green, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No