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Products > Aloe 'Hercules'
Aloe 'Hercules' - Hercules Aloe
Image of Aloe 'Hercules'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Salmon
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Parentage: (Aloe barberae x A. dichotoma)
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Aloe 'Hercules' (Hercules Aloe) - A large hybrid tree aloe that is the result of a cross between the large Tree Aloe, Aloe barberae (A. bainesii) and the smaller Quiver Tree, Aloe dichotoma. The plant exhibits hybrid vigor, growing faster than Aloe barberae with a heavier trunk, thicker branches and peeling bark with a tiger stripe pattern more typical of Aloe dichotoma but with broad triangular dark green leaves. Relatively young large specimens can be seen in southern California, and it seems likely that they will eventually grow to 30 to 40 feet. Most of these plants have yet to flower but mature plants have beautiful, green-tipped salmon flowers that can appear sporadically from spring to fall.

Plant in full sun and water occasionally to infrequently. Hardiness reports are that it is hardier than either parent and that it can tolerate temperatures down to at least 20 F though some claim it has been hardy only to 23F. This is a attractive large aloe that has become very popular for use as a specimen tree in a dry garden.

Aloe 'Hercules' is a unique looking plant that is sometimes confused with, but quite different from its one parent, Aloe barberae, or the yellow-orange flowering form of Aloe barberae that comes from Mozambique that is often referred to as the Medusa form of Aloe barberae and now described as Aloe tongaensis. This naturally occurring plant from Mozambique has smaller narrower pale green leaves and much thinner stems. Another plant that is somewhat similar is the hybrid between Aloe barberae and Aloe vaombe called Aloe 'Goliath', which has longer broader and brighter green leaves and has rosettes so heavy they are prone to break the stems. There is another tree aloe from Somalia that was originally included with Aloe barberae called Aloe eminens. Plants of this species from cuttings from a specimen from the Koko Crater Botanical Garden (satellite garden of the Honolulu Botanic Gardens) are now in the trade. In South Africa there is also a plant called Aloe 'Rex' with apparently the same parentage as 'Hercules' that was hybridized by Jaap Viljoen of Swellendam, South Africa. From pictures we have seen of this plant it looks quite similar but has yellow flowers.

In an interesting twist in the nomenclature of these tree aloes, an article in the Journal >i>Phytotaxa 76 (1): 714 (2013), titled "A revised generic classification for Aloe (Xanthorrhoeaceae subfam. Asphodeloideae)" proposes that the tree aloes (Aloe barberae, A. dichotoma, A. eminens, A. pillansii, A. ramosissima and A. tongaensis) be taken out of the genus aloe and given the name Aloidendron. Since both parents of this hybrid are in this group this plant too would become a cultivar of the genus Aloidendron. Other major name changes proposed in this article include the scrambling aloes (A. ciliaris, A. commixta, A. gracilis, A. juddii, A. striatula and A. tenuior) being put in the genus Aloiampelos and the Aloe plicatilis, the popular Fan Aloe, to be renamed Kumara disticha, a name that was used to described it by the German botanist Friedrich Kasimir Medikus in 1786. Our plants are cutting grown from stock we maintain at the nursery that were originally from tissue cultured plants produced by Rancho Soledad Nursery in 2007. 

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