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Aloe gracilis

Aloe gracilis is closely related to Aloe striatula, Aloe gracilis has large red flowers, leaf sheaths not as clearly marked as in Aloe striatula.

Aloe gracilis can also be easily confused with Aloe ciliaris but one can distinguishe the two apart by the fine marginal hair-like fringe that is present on the clasping parts of the leaves on Aloe ciliaris.

There is one variety of Aloe gracilis, var. decumbens which is becoming rarer to find in the wild. Var. decumbens is less robust with a sprawling habit.

The specie name 'gracilis' means 'thin and slender' and it refers to the stems.

Common Names: -
Status: Not threatened.
Distribution: Aloe gracilis is found in thicket vegetation in the Eastern Cape in the Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage districdts. Aloe gracilis var. decumbens is found in the Langeberg in south of the Western Cape.
Description of Aloe gracilis:
Stem: Numerous shrubby semi-erect stems that branch near the ground are formed and they can be up to 2 meters in height.
Leaves: Leaves are a dull-green colour, narrow and erectly spreading, leaf surfaces are smooth, leaf margins are armed with numerous tiny white teeth that are 1mm in length.
Flower Description :
Inflorescence: Inflorescences are single to twice branched, up to 300mm high, raceme is found on the upper third of inflorescence.
Flower: Flowers are quite large, deep red colour, are pendulous.
Flowering Time: Flowering occurs in the winter months of May and July.
Cultivation of Aloe gracilis:
Light: Full sun to light shade.
Watering: Careful watering.
Frost Protection: Required.

It is best to grow Aloe gracilis is a well draining bed to help prevent stem rot from over-watering.

Post your tips and ideas at the forum.

References: Guide to Aloes of Southern Africa.
Picture: Please contact me if you have images I can use.

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