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Products > Aloe pluridens
Aloe pluridens - French Aloe
Image of Aloe pluridens
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Salmon
Bloomtime: Winter
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Aloe pluridens (French Aloe) This is a tall attractive aloe that is known in habitat to occasionally reach 15 feet or more high but is usually seen in cultivation from 5 to 8 feet tall with multiple slender stems topped with spiraled rosettes of long narrow reddish, blushed bright chartreuse, leaves that recurve gracefully and have firm closely spaced small pale green to white teeth along the margins older leaves hang down and eventually fall off to show attractive bare stems. Trim up leaves for a neater look. Occasionally small plantlets form near the base of the stems. In late fall and winter from the top of the rosettes appear multiple (up to 3) branched inflorescences holding numerous spikes of salmon-orange flowers that dramatically rise 1 to 2 feet above the top of the plant. Plant in full sun or in the shade along the coast and in part sun or shade in hot inland locations in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally. Hardy to about 28 F so protect from frost in colder locations. Tolerates near coastal conditions great along sea bluffs and is one of the few aloes that will bloom well in shady locations, even fairly deep shade. This is a very attractive and unusual shrubby aloe for the garden or for large containers and cut flower stems can last for up to three weeks in a vase. Its sap is noted as having the sharp acrid smell of rhubarb (some even suggest it smells like Cannabis). This close relative of Aloe arborescens has a natural distribution along a wide area of the coast from the summer rainfall and frost free Eastern Cape to KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, where it often grows with heads of foliage popping out through dense foliage of lower growing shrubs. It was first described in 1824 by English botanist Adrian H. Haworth (1767-1833) from a plant collected by a Mr. Bowie east of the Bushmans River near Albany. The specific epithet comes from the Latin words 'pluri' meaning "many" and 'dens' meaning "teeth" in reference to the many teeth along the leaf margins. The common name "French Aloe" is a bit perplexing though Gilbert W. Reynolds in The Aloes of South Africa notes that this name came from its use in the Traskei region. In South Africa it has also been known by the common names Fransaalwyn and Garaa. The roots contain a toxin called Pluridone that has been investigated for use as a natural insecticide we know of no reports indicating that this plant has poisoned people or pets, but suggest not using topically or eating roots or any other part of this plant.  The information that is presented on this page is based on research we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations we have made of it in the nursery's garden and in other gardens we have visited, as well how it performs in our nursery crops out in the field. We incorporate comments that we receive from others as well and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they know of cultural information that would aid others in growing  Aloe pluridens.