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Products > Aloe betsileensis
Aloe betsileensis - Betsileo Aloe

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Aloe betsileensis
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: Madagascar
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Aloe betsileensis (Betsileo Aloe) - Beautiful solitary nearly stemless plant growing to 12 to 18 inches tall with an open rosette of upwardly-growing 8 to 16 inch long-lance shaped leaves that are a grayish blue-green color with red teeth and a blunt, but still narrow, toothed leaf tip. Foliage blushes a beautiful purple gray in winter and mid-winter is also when the flowers appear. The inflorescence of young plants is unbranched, but mature plants produce a spike having 3 to 4 branches, each topped by tight cone-like racemes holding yellow-orange buds that open to display small open tubeless yellow flowers.

Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to very little - though it comes from a more summer rainfall area, this plant has proven adaptable and drought tolerant in our mediterranean climate and tolerates temperatures at least to 28° F without noticeable damage . We like this plant better as a landscape specimen than the closely related and more common Aloe conifera because of its bigger size, red teeth and flowers that are not hidden behind the bracts. Aloe conifera is also a worthwhile plant in the collection because it is one of the few fragrant-flowered species with an interesting fresh grapefruit aroma.

Aloe betsileensis comes from a wide area of the south-central highlands of Madagascar, where it can be found growing on rocky slopes between 2,500 and 4,600 feet in elevation. It was named by the French botanist most commonly associated with the flora of Madagascar, Joseph Marie Henry Alfred Perrier de la Bāthie (1873-1958) in 1926 with the name coming from the Betsileo, the region and name of the highland ethnic group of Madagascar that occupies the south area of the Madagascar plateau that is in the middle of the island of Madagascar. Their name means "The Many Invincible Ones" which they chose for themselves after the failed invasion of King Ramitraho of the Menabe kingdom in the early 19th century. 

This information about Aloe betsileensis 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.