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Products > Aloe tenuior
 
Aloe tenuior - Fence Aloe
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (Aloes)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [Aloiampelos tenuior]
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Aloe tenuior (Fence Aloe) - A shrub forming plant rising from a near tuberous base to 3 feet tall, or taller with support, by 5-6 feet wide with irregularly-branched, semi-woody long stems tipped with open rosettes of narrow pale blue-green 4-6 inch long by 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide leaves with tiny white teeth along the margins. With a peak from fall to late winter, but seemingly nearly any time of year except mid-summer, appear the terminal, usually unbranched, spikes of lemon yellow flowers. Plant in full sun to light shade (tolerates deep shade but does not seem to bloom) in a relatively well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. Not known to be particularly hardy to frost but our plants weathered the 1990 (<20 F), 2007 (25F) freezes without damage when only covered with frost cloth and went through the January 2013 freeze down to 27F unprotected so is hardier than thought. This is a nice landscape plant that can form a large shrub-like mass topped with fine-textured foliage and an abundance of delicate yellow flowers. It can grow tall and even be used as a fence to 8 feet if supported on a chain link fence or it can grow up onto other shrubs. Also makes an interesting container specimen trained up with careful pruning like a wild living sculpture with its thick base exposed. This species is native to dry thickets from Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal and while there are other colored forms in nature, our plants are a very nice yellow form. The species name tenuior is from the Latin word for "slender" or "very thin" in reference to the slender branches. In an interesting twist of nomenclature a recent article in the Journal >i>Phytotaxa 76 (1): 714 (2013), titled "A revised generic classification for Aloe (Xanthorrhoeaceae subfam. Asphodeloideae)" proposes that this plant actually be taken out of the genus aloe and given the name Aloiampelos tenuior (Haw.) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm., comb. Nov. and the other scrambling aloes (A. ciliaris, A. commixta, A. gracilis, A. juddii and A. striatula) be also put in the genus Aloiampelos, all of the tree aloes (Aloe barberae, A. dichotoma, A. eminens, A. pillansii, A. ramosissima and A. tongaensis ) be placed in the genus Aloidendron and that Aloe plicatilis, the popular Fan Aloe, be renamed Kumara disticha, a name that was used to described it by the German botanist Friedrich Kasimir Medikus in 1786. Until such time as this name change gets wider recognition we continue to call this plant by its original name. We got this plant in 1984 from Dylan Hannon, now curator of the Conservatory at the Huntington Botanic Gardens.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Aloe tenuior.
 
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