Aloe scobinifolia (Somalian Aloe) - A slow-growing stemless and mostly solitary plant to 2 feet tall by 4 feet wide with open rosettes of sword-shaped rugose pale-green leaves that are rough textured on the surface but smooth along the margins and curve slightly upwards. The flowers appear on once-branched inflorescences with the flowers in dense capitate heads at the tips. Most often described with pale yellow flowers or red flowers, our plants have greenish buds that open to a pale tangerine color in late summer to early fall.
Plant in full to part sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to very little. Hardiness is not known for this plant that comes from an area that rarely gets very cold.
Aloe scobinifolia comes from near Erigavo near the Gulf of Aden in the Sanaag region of Somaliland where it can usually be found growing in some partial shade on gypsum soils with such other plants as Euphorbia ballyi and Aloe peckii.
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 and the specific epithet comes from the Latin words 'scobina' meaning a "rasp" and 'folia' meaning "leaves" in reference to the rough texture of the surface of the leaves that gives this plant its unusual dull gray-green coloration. We have grown this plant that is uncommon in cultivation at our nursery since 2012. Our plants now propagated vegetatively but the original stock plants were grown from seed received in 2006 from Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft Garden. Brian had hand pollinated plants he had in cultivation and collected the seed in December 2005.
Information about Aloe scobinifolia displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.