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Products > Aloe cameronii
Aloe cameronii - Red Aloe
Image of Aloe cameronii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: Africa, Central (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Orange Red
Bloomtime: Winter
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe cameronii (Cameron's Ruwari Aloe or Red Aloe) - A medium-sized suckering aloe with many upright stems of open rosettes to 1 to 2 feet with lax narrow leaves that are medium to dark green and that turn a beautiful coppery red in summer. It bears 1-foot-tall spikes of bright reddish flowers that appear primarily from late fall into early winter in southern California gardens.

Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate only occasionally to enhance the red coloration of the foliage, which remains green if overwatered and in nursery conditions. Hardy to mid to upper 20's. This is one of the most attractive foliage aloes and it also bears very attractive flowers.

Aloe cameronii was first discovered in the central African country of Nyasaland (now Malawi) by Kenneth J. Cameron, an employee of the African Lakes Corporation, who first sent it to the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew in 1854, but was not described until it flowered there in 1903 when William Botting Hemsley (1843-1924), a longtime gardener and keeper at Kew, was able to fully describe it, though the original collection data was lost or not recorded. Theo Campbell-Barker wrote an article in 2003 for Haworthiad, the journal of the Haworthia Society titled "The type locality of Aloe cameronii Hemsley" where he thoroughly researched Cameron's whereabouts and determined the likely habitat of this aloe to be on a hill at Namadzi near Zomba, close to where Cameron had been working at a Cotton Research station.

In 2016 we noted another form of this species becoming popular in the Southern California nursery trade, radiating out from nurseries growing it in the San Diego, California. It is a more robust and upright plant with greener summer coloration and bright orange flowers. This plant was sold just as Aloe cameronii, with a common name Starfish Aloe, but it is certainly a different variant of the red foliage and reddish flowering form that has long been grown in California. We list this plant as Aloe cameronii 'Creme Tangerine'

This information about Aloe cameronii 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.