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Products > Aloe wickensii
Aloe wickensii - Geelaalwyn
Image of Aloe wickensii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [A. cryptopoda, Hort.]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Aloe wickensii (Geelaalwyn) - Succulent plant with solitary stemless rosettes densely packed with upright, curved smooth grey-green leaves with small sharp reddish-brown spines along the margins. The beautiful bi-colored red and yellow flowers appear well above the leaves in branched racemes in late winter with red buds opening to yellow flowers from the bottom of the inflorescence up. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and water occasionally to regularly in summer (from a summer rainfall area). Hardy to 20F. This plant is often included into Aloe cryptopoda but this bi-colored form has long been grown under the name Aloe wickensii with Aloe cryptopoda being a more uniformly all yellow or all red form. In the newest book on aloes Aloes: The Definitive Guide (Kew Publishing 2011) it is stated that: "This striking species is easily recognized by its usually bi-coloured racemes of dark red buds opening to bright yellow flowers it has been confused with A. cryptopoda from the northern regions of Zimbabwe but can easily be distinguished by its long-acuminate, broad floral bracts and by its flower colour". We also grow the similar Aloe lutescens, which has the bicolored flowers but is a clump forming plant with yellow green foliage with a narrower inflorescence and blooms here in Santa Barbara in mid spring, a bit later than A. wickensii. This plant is from an area east of Pietersburg to Burgersfort south to near Marble Hall and Nebo in an area that receives much of its 20-25 inches of rainfall in the summer. It was named for a Mr. Wickens who with a Mr. Pienaar (honored by the very closely related Aloe pienaarii) found this plant 25 miles south of Pietersburg in Northern Transvaal in 1914. Aloe cryptopoda is widely distributed in bushveld areas, in flat open areas and on rocky slopes across a band of the subtropical area on the northern boundries of eastern South Africa. It is closely related to Aloe lutescens, found further to the north and differing by having a more clustering habit, yellow green foliage and a narrower inflorescence. The name 'crytpopoda' meaning "hidden foot" is in reference to the peduncles that are hidden by bracts within the inflorescence. The name Geelaalwyn is the Afrikaner name applied to both of these plants.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of this plant in our nursery crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we visit. We also will incorporate comments that we receive from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Aloe wickensii.