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Products > Aloe speciosa
Aloe speciosa - Tilt-head Aloe
Image of Aloe speciosa
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green & White
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Height: 8-10 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 speciosa (Tilt-head Aloe) - A generally single-stemmed tall succulent growing to 10 feet or more that carries its massive rosettes of leaves at a tilt off to one side. The slender long (to 36 inch) bluish-green leaves have a pinkish tinge at their tips and leaf margins, which also have tiny soft teeth and the older leaves form a dry skirt lying downwards along the stem. In mid-winter (Jan/ Feb. in Santa Barbara) appear the stout tight foot-long cone-like inflorescenes that rise and branch close to the crown of the rosette. The flower buds are red and open a greenish-white with dark reddish brown to orange protruding stamens, giving a definite tri-color look to the inflorescence. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently - this is a drought tolerant plant once established. Aloe speciosa is considered by some to be tender to frost since temperatures in its native habitat rarely are below 28 F but we have an older specimen in a cold spot in the nursery that has regularly survived temperatures in the mid 20F and Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft Garden rates it to 20F. A great specimen plant for the garden that is quite attractive to hummingbirds. Aloe speciosa is widely distributed in South Africa from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape at elevations from between sea level to 3,300 feet. The specific epithet given this plant by John Gilbert Baker when he described in in the 1880 in the Journal of the Linnean Society is the Latin word 'speciosa' which means "showy" and is in reference to its beautiful flowers. 

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