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Products > Aloe 'Erik the Red'
Aloe 'Erik the Red' - Erik the Red Sunbird Aloe

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (Aloes)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Winter
Parentage: (A. mawii, A. petricola, A. marlothii & A. arborescens)
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe 'Erik the Red' - A large tall-growing aloe to 6 feet tall or more with its stem topped by a rosette to about 2 feet wide with dark to mid-green leaves that have a prominent, but not dangerous whitish-green teeth along the leaf margin. The main stem often has new shoots early on to create a full shrubby plant but older stems are more solitary. The tall branching inflorescences of blood-red flowers appear in early winter and continue up to early spring with red buds as attractively colored as the flower and yellow stamens that add to the show. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Can get by with occasional to infrequent irrigation but tolerant of more regular gardening watering. We have not had this plant through any very cold winters but it is noted as hardy to a medium frost so likely cold tolerant to temperatures down to the mid to high 20's F. Removing side shoots on the main stems can neaten up the plant and promote earlier flowering. This sensational large aloe with dark red flowers that contrast well against the long dark green leaves comes from the breeding program of Leo Thamm of Sunbird Aloes in Johannesburg, South Africa. This program was first introduced into the US in 2012 and also included other very nice aloe cultivars 'Fairy Pink', Moonglow ['LEO 3151A'], Scarlet Rockets ['LEO 3711'] and 'Topaz' ['LEO 4120']. Aloe 'Erik the Red' is a complex hybrid involving Aloe mawii, which contributed its dark red color combined with A. petricola, A. marlothii (red form) and A. arborescens. It was named after the breeder's eldest son, whom he notes is "also a tall fella" and was awarded the Gold Medal at the Brisbane Horticultural Show in Australia. A painting of this plant graced the cover of our 2014 catalog The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in the nursery, in the nursery's garden, and in other gardens where it has been observed. We also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing  Aloe 'Erik the Red'.