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Products > Aloe polyphylla
Aloe polyphylla - Spiral Aloe

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Salmon
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
Aloe polyphylla (Spiral Aloe) - This aloe is stemless and usually has a solitary rosette to 1 foot tall and wide whose leaves are arranged in a perfect spiral. This spiral may be clockwise or counter clockwise and is formed by five rows of leaves with each row having between 15 and 30 leaves each. The individual leaves are broad at the base and taper to sharp dark tip with irregular teeth along the margins. In late spring to summer mature plants send up a 2 foot tall branching inflorescence capped by a compact head of salmon-pink flowers. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and water regularly (thirstier than most aloes!). Hardy to USDA zones 7b (5-10 F). This aloe is endemic to basalt rock outcroppings within grasslands in the higher elevations between 6,500 and 8,200 feet of the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho in South Africa. At these elevations plants are often under snow in winter and there is ample summer moisture both through mist and rainfall. This rare and beautiful aloe has become a prized collector's item and has also been used for African tribal medicinal and magical purposes (Muthi). Because of this, plants in the wild are now considered endangered and plants should not be purchased if it is suspected that the plant or seed has been wild collected. Our plants were from material propagated by tissue culture using cultivated material. The name 'polyphylla' comes from Latin words 'poly' meaning "many" and 'phylla' meaning "leaves". While this plant is called Spiral Aloe the world over for the arrangement of its leaves within the rosette, the Afrikaans common name Kroonaalwyn translates to "Crown Aloe". Though we like this plant and have had very nice crops and specimen plants in containers in the nursery we have also had production problems and many customers tell us that they can't keep it attractive in their landscapes so we have discontinued offering this beautiful and unusual plant.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Aloe polyphylla.