San Marcos Growers LogoSan Marcos Growers
New User
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
Nursery Closure
Search Utilities
Plant Database
Search Plant Name
Detail Search Avanced Search Go Button
Search by size, origins,
details, cultural needs
Website Search Search Website GO button
Search for any word
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings

PLANT TYPE
PLANT GEOGRAPHY
PLANT INDEX
ALL PLANT LIST
PLANT IMAGE INDEX
PLANT INTROS
SPECIALTY CROPS
NEW  2024 PLANTS

PRIME LIST
  for JUNE


Natives at San Marcos Growers
Succulents at San Marcos Growers
 Weather Station

 
Products > Aloe castanea
 
Aloe castanea - Cat's Tail Aloe
   
Image of Aloe castanea
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Winter
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Aloe castanea (Cat's Tail Aloe). This aloe can grow into a small tree (8 to 12 feet tall) with a single main trunk at ground level with several spreading branches higher up or can be pruned to enhance lower branching to form a dense shrub-like mass 6 to 10 feet tall. The leaves are up to 5 feet long with the older leaves persisting along the trunk providing a "skirt" with the margins armed with firm, small, brown teeth. The blooms, which appear in mid-winter, are an unusual color of dark orange-brown and are formed along the curled and snake-like inflorescence, hence the common name Cat's Tail Aloe. The nectar of this plant is an unusual brown color.

Plant this aloe in full sun, even in desert heat, in a well-draining soil. It is drought tolerant but seems to bloom better if planted in rich soil and given some summer water. Often listed as cold tolerant to 25 F. (our plants undamaged at this temperature in the January 2007 freeze) but Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft garden lists it as hardy to 20 F on his List of Hardy Aloes. It is an attractive and unusual Aloe that is attractive to birds and insects and deserves wider use in the garden!

Aloe castanea is native to the Northeastern South Africa from Witbank in the Mpumalanga province north to Polokwane in the Limpopo province. The specific epithet 'castanea' is the Latin word for "chestnut" in reference to this aloe's brownish colored flowers. It is often confused with the very similar Aloe spicata that has nearly identical flowers but held in a straighter inflorescence and with leaves that recurve back towards the ground. We got our original propagation stock of this aloe from Rancho Soledad Nursery in 2005. 

This information about Aloe castanea 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.

 
  [MORE INFO]