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Products > Aloe plicatilis
Aloe plicatilis - Fan Aloe
Image of Aloe plicatilis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Kumara disticha]
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Aloe plicatilis (Fan Aloe) - An interesting succulent shrub with gray colored stems that terminate with a fan-like cluster arrangement of flat 12 inch long slightly upcurved blue-gray round-tipped leaves. Old plants are typically 3-6 feet tall but others in cultivation have been noted to 8 feet tall by 6 feet wide and plants from the wilds of the high winter rainfall areas of western Cape Mountains of South Africa are reportedly as tall as 15 feet. Each leaf cluster bears one erect 12 to 20 inch tall unbranched inflorescence bearing an open terminal cluster of tubular orange-red flowers in late winter to early spring. Plant in the sun, but away from the hottest afternoon sun in inland situations and water occasionally during summer months. Hardy to about 23 degrees F. Old leaves drop cleanly away to exposed the attractive smooth trunk. Needs winter and spring irrigation if grown where it does not receive adequate water from rainfall. This aloe comes from the winter rainfall Western Cape where it can be found growing on steep, rocky slopes in well-drained soil that are typically acidic and found in association with other fynbos vegetation such as ericas and plants in the protea family. This plant was described in 1695 by Heinrich Bernhard Oldenland but the first valid Latin name applied to this plant by Linnaeus in 1753, was as a variety of Aloe disticha (var. plicatilis), a species synonymous with Aloe maculata. To correct this the plant was renamed by Philip Miller in 1768 using Linnaeus' varietal name for its specific one - this name from the Latin word ' plicatilis' meaning "foldable" is in reference the fan-shaped rosettes. 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 Kumara disticha, a name that was used to described it by the German botanist Friedrich Kasimir Medikus in 1786. Other major name changes proposed in this article include that 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 the scrambling aloes (A. ciliaris, A. commixta, A. gracilis, A. juddii, A. striatula and A. tenuior) be put in the genus Aloiampelos. Until such time as this name change gets wider recognition we continue to call this plant by its original name. 

Information about Aloe plicatilis displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.