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Aloe speciosa

Aloe speciosa can be confused with Aloe comosa which has a different distribution pattern and much longer inflorescences.

The specie name 'speciosa' means 'showy' and refers to the flowers.

Aloe speciosa has been granted tree status in South Africa and its national tree number is 30.5.

Common Names: Tilt-head Aloe, Slaphoringaalwyn (Limp Horn Aloe), Spaanaalwyn ().
Status: Not threatened.
Distribution: Aloe speciosa rarely grow solitary and is often found in large groups in the central and central coastal parts of the Eastern Cape. It is also found in the Western Cape from the Kei River in the east westwards to Swellendam.
Description of Aloe speciosa:
Stem: Plants are not solitary and occur in great numbers in the wild. Untidy rosettes are formeed on single-stemmed or branched stems that can reach a height of between 3 to 6 meters. Rosettes are tilted to one side.
Leaves: Leaves are blue-green in colour, leaves are long and narrow and up to 900 mm in length. The leaf margins are a pinkish colour and they are armed with numerous small teeth.
Flower Description:
Inflorescence: Inflorescence is simple, the peduncles are short making it appear as if the racemes are borne directly from the rosettes. Racemes are quite short and densely packed with numerous flowers. Up to four inflorescences can be borne from as single rosette. Racemes are conical in shape.
Flower: Buds are usually an orange colour that changes to a greenish-white colour when the flower opens. Stigma and styles protrude from the relatively short flowers.
Flowering Time: Flowering occurs from July to September.
Cultivation of Aloe speciosa:
Light: Full sun.
Watering: Careful watering.
Frost Protection: Required in areas of severe frost.

Aloe speciosa makes a great garden Aloe, it is uneffected by Aloe Snout Beetles aznd it tolerates moderate frost.

Plant Aloe speciosa in an area with well-draining soil, this will help fingal infections from damaging the plant.

Post your tips and ideas at the forum.

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

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