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Products > Aloe bakeri
Aloe bakeri - Baker's Aloe
Image of Aloe bakeri
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: Madagascar
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow & Orange
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [Guillauminia bakeri]
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Aloe bakeri - A clustering aloe that forms a dense clump of a hundred or more tight rosettes growing up on short stems less than 1 foot long with dark reddish green 1 to 2 inch long recurved leaves that have light green spots and pink toothed margins. In fall appear the delicate 10- to 12-inch-tall unbranched spikes topped with pale yellow buds that turn a pale apricot color at their base as the flowers open and darkening to become suffused with scarlet with the upper parts remaining yellow and with slightly flared green petal tips – very pretty!

Plant in a well-drained soil in full sun to light shade – in sun leaves will be shorter, more recurved and take on a dark reddish hue that otherwise would be green. Plants have proven hardy to 25° F, remaining exposed to the elements in the January 2007 freeze in Santa Barbara when temperatures dropped to this temperature 3 nights in a row. This is a beautiful small aloe with attractive foliage and showy flowers that makes a great container plant or planted in the ground in a small pocket in the succulent or rock garden and does not get out of bounds.

We received this plant as Aloe bakeri but it has shorter leaves that are more recurved than typical Aloe bakeri, which is endemic to the Taolañaro District (formerly Fort Dauphin) area in the Toliara Province in southeastern Madagascar, the first French settlement in Madagascar. It is found near the coast growing in large dense clusters in shallow soil in crevices in the rocky hills at around 130 feet in elevation. In exposed locations Gilbert Westacott Reynolds in his The Aloes of Tropical Africa and Madagascar (1966) noted the stems to be 4 to 6 inches long but extending up to a foot in sheltered shady crevices. He also noted the flowers to be "one of the most beautiful in the genus". The specific epithet honors John G. Baker (1834-1920) a British botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This species is noted in the landmark book Aloes: The Definitive Guide as being "an attractive species with no obvious close relatives".

Our plants look very close to species plants of Aloe bakeri but slight differences has lead us to believe it possibly a hybrid with Aloe bakeri as a parent. Our thanks go out to Jim Foster, who provided us with a large enough plant to begin production of this attractive little gem and to aloe breeder John Bleck for identifying the plant's parentage. We also have in our collection this same plant that we received in the Alice Waidhofer collection in 2005 that was purchased in a Target store in Florida in 2001 with a Altman's Nursery tag just identifying it as "Aloe sp." and we also grow a form we call Aloe bakeri 'Yellow' that has more pure yellow flowers. 

This information about Aloe bakeri displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.