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Products > Aloe spicata
Aloe spicata - Bottle-brush Aloe
Image of Aloe spicata
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow & Orange
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [Aloe sessiliflora]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe spicata (Bottle-brush Aloe) - A large growing aloe that grows up on a short trunk as a shrub to 4 to 6 feet tall and can be solitary and more tree-like but more often clusters with a few 3-foot-wide rosettes of long gracefully-recurved and relatively narrow leaves that gradually taper to a point. These leaves are deeply guttered on the upper surface and are a bright green color attractively infused with orange pink to red tones, particularly near the margins, which also have small firm teeth. In mid to late winter appear the non-branching 3-foot-long spikes, 3 to 5 to a rosette, with densely-packed sessile greenish-yellow colored flowers that appear to be yellow-orange because of the so-colored prominent exserted stamens.

Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and irrigate only occasionally to infrequently (if at all) - the drier it is kept the redder it will be. Hardy to about 25 F. A great large aloe for a hedge or hillside planting.

It comes from along steep rocky slopes and cliffs from sea level to 5,600 feet in elevation from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was originally described by Linnaeus in 1781 with the specific epithet referencing its spike-shaped inflorescence with sessile flowers. Other common names include Bullocks Bottle-brush Aloe, Lemombo aloe and Spike-flowered Aloe. The plant later described as Aloe sessiliflora is now considered to be a synonym. It is very similar to Aloe castanea but has a straighter inflorescence and recurved leaves. Our stock plants from Jim Rose of Cal-Orchid, who grew it from seed obtained in South Africa. 

This information about Aloe spicata 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.