Cape Aloe

Aloe ferox: Commonly know as the Cape aloe or bitter aloe, this is in the lily family (Liliaceae). It is native to South Africa and can be seen in bed ‘D’ in the Preview Garden. This succulent shrub can grow to 6 – 10 feet high when mature. Its blooms are red or orange and appear from late winter to early spring. The Cape aloe is used in containers, planters or rock gardens and it tolerates heat and drought. Its nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It needs well drained soil and requires deep but infrequent watering. It tolerates partly shaded to partly sunny locations. Our specimen fell over in 2000 while in bed ‘D’, but lived off of the nutrients in its leaves as it sent out new roots.  It was replanted in 2001 and bloomed. The Cape aloe has been used as a livestock food, and in the past as a treatment for stomach ailments and skin healing.


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