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Products > Aloe melanacantha
Aloe melanacantha - Black-spined Aloe

This listing for information only - We no longer grow this plant  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (Aloes)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Bloomtime: Winter
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe melanacantha (Black-spined Aloe) - A slow growing nearly stemless rosette-forming succulent that is usually solitary or with only a few clustered ball-shaped rosettes that are about a foot tall and wide with narrow 6 to 8 inch long triangular rough-textured brownish-green colored leaves that blush red with drought stress and curve upwards and inwards towards the middle of the plant. The leaves are further distinctive with a single row of long spines along the margins and keel on the lower side of the leaf - these spines are yellow and soft on young leaves but blacken on older leaves. In winter a simple unbranched spike rises to about 3 feet with with red-orange flowers that fade to yellow. Plant in full sun in a well drained soil and irrigate infrequently - a drought tolerant plant that is prone to rot if it receives too much water or if soil does not drain well enough. Hardy to 25 F. Makes an interesting and attractive container plant. Aloe melanacantha comes from arid parts of Namaqualand and Richtersveld north to southern Namibia, where it is found growing in rocky and sandy soils from 160 to 2,300 feet in elevation. The specific epithet comes from the Greek words 'melas' meaning "black" and 'akanthos' meaning "thorns" for the decorative thorn lining the margin and keel.  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 melanacantha.