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Products > Aloe kedongensis
 
Aloe kedongensis - Kenyan Aloe
   
Image of Aloe kedongensis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: Kenya (Africa)
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: (A. nyeriensis ssp. kedongensis)
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe kedongensis (Kenyan Aloe) - An upright-growing succulent that forms a solid mass with multiple stems reaching 4 to 8+ feet high topped with rosettes of bright green sometimes lightly spotted leaves that typically are narrow, less than 1 foot long and recurve downward slightly. It suckers from the base with lowers stems lying over, so the plant spreads laterally to form large clumps. The salmon-orange flowers appear in unbranched or few branched spikes, typically in late winter and spring.

Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate only occasionally. It hardy to short duration temperatures down to 25 F. This aloe makes an attractive solid screen or hedge.

Aloe kedongensis grows within dense bushlands on rocky soil in the Kedong Valley and near Nakuru within the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. The Rift Valley is a 4,300-mile intra-continental ridge system that runs from to Mozambique and through Kenya from north to south. The name Aloe comes from ancient Greek name aloe that was derived from the Arabian word 'alloch' that was used to describe the plant or its juice that was used as medicine. The specific epithet refers to this plant being from the Kedong Valley, which was the site of an tragic massacre in 1895 involving tribal Swahili and Maasai with misinterpreted intervention by the British Army. This plant was first described by Gilbert Westacott Reynolds (1895-1967) in the Journal of South African Botany (v19 n4) in 1953. Aloe kedongensis is one of a group of closely related tetraploid aloes that all grow near each other in East Africa and share a recent common ancestor. The other aloes in this group are Aloe cheranganiensis, Aloe dawei, Aloe elgonica, and Aloe nyeriensis (often synonymized with Aloe ngobitensis).

We have sold this great landscape aloe since 2006 and first became interested in this plant after seeing it used in old Santa Barbra gardens as a low barrier or hedge plant. We received our first cuttings of Aloe kedongensis in 2005 from Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, who encouraged us to grow it in larger sizes for use as a large durable barrier or screening plant - we have established large impenetrable clumps of it over 8 feet tall growing in the nursery garden. 

This information about Aloe kedongensis 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.

 
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