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Aloe arborescens

   (Family: Asphodelaceae)
   
Afrikaans: Kransaalwyn English: Krantz aloe Xhosa: ikalene  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Tree No.: 28.1
Height: 2 - 3m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Frost Tolerant (light)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Common
   
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
 
pH: neutral
 
Flowering time EDIT
        x x x          
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
 
Orange
 
Red
 
Yellow
Flower type
 
  Flower info
  Large colourful flower spikes are borne in profusion. Deep orange is the most common colour, but there are also pure yellow forms, and an unusual bi-coloured form of deep orange (almost red) and yellow.
 
 
Leaf arrangement
 
  Leaf info EDIT
  Evergreen
  Striking grey green leaves arranged in attractive rosettes. The leaf margins are armed with conspicuous pale teeth.
 
 
Sow seeds in Spring
 
  Seed info EDIT
 
 
 
Description EDIT
The Aloe arborescens is a large treelike multi-headed shrub and bears its name due to its stem forming habit. Typical height for this species ranges from 2 to 3 meters (6-10ft) high. Its leaves are succulent and are green with a slight blue tint. Its leaves are armed with small spikes along its edges and are arranged in rosettes situated at the end of branches. Flowers are arranged in a type inflorescence called a raceme.The racemes are not branched but two to several can sprout from each rosette. Flowers are cylindrical in shape and are a vibrant red/orange color.
Growing EDIT
It enjoys full sun, well-drained, compost-enriched soil and can tolerate moderate frost but is sensitive to severe frost. It is fast-growing, and it will tolerate drought and neglect once established.

The krantz aloe is easily propagated from a branch or stem cut off, allowed to dry for a day or so until the wound has sealed, and then planted in well-drained soil or sand. They need not be rooted in any particular place and then transplanted, but can be placed directly into their permanent place in the garden. It is important to remember not to water the cuttings too heavily; overwatering may cause them to rot. This aloe can also be grown from seed, sown in spring. Seed should take three to four weeks to germinate, and the seedlings must be protected from frost.
Distribution EDIT
This species is distributed mainly over the eastern, summer rainfall areas of the country. It has the third widest distribution of any aloe, occurring from the Cape Peninsula along the eastern coast, through KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo province and further north into Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. It is one of the few aloes that can be found growing at sea level right up to the tops of mountains. The krantz aloe is adapted to many habitats, but is usually found in mountainous areas where it favours exposed ridges and rocky outcrops. It is also found in dense bush.
History EDIT
The name aloe is from the Greek alsos and refers to the bitter juice from the leaves of these plants. It is probably derived from the earlier Arabic word alloeh or the Hebrew word allal, both meaning bitter. The Latin word arborescens means tree-forming or tree-like.
Uses EDIT
In many parts of South Africa Aloe arborescens is planted around kraals (domestic stock enclosures) as a living fence. It often happens that the position of old kraals can still be seen many years after they have been abandoned because the aloes persist. Cuttings intended for use as barrier plants are sold in muthi shops.

The Zulu people use the leaves of this plant, dried and pounded into a powder, as a protection against storms. Decoctions of the leaves are also used in childbirth and in treating sick calves. In the Transkei it is used for stomach ache and given to chickens to prevent them from getting sick. In the Orient, this aloe is grown in domestic gardens as a convenient first-aid treatment for burn wounds and abrasions. In fact it was only after it was used to treat irradiation burn victims of Hiroshima that its healing properties received attention from the West. Extracts from the leaves have been widely investigated since then and shown significant wound healing, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, hypoglycaemic and also alopoeic activity. The leaves have also been found to have purgative properties and the leaf sap is reported to relieve x-ray burns.
Ecology EDIT
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