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Products > Aloe greenii
Aloe greenii - Icena
Image of Aloe greenii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe greenii (Icena) A stemless suckering plant that can fairly rapidly form large dense groups of dense rosettes with up to 20 narrow lance-shaped slightly-recurved leaves that are 16 to 20 inches long by 3 inches wide at the base. The leaves are a bright green with greenish-white oblong spots in irregular transverse bands on both surfaces and with pinkish-brown teeth but when grown in sun the green portions turn an attractive deep brown. In late summer into fall, often timed right at the autumn equinox, appear the upright 3 to 4 foot tall branching inflorescences bearing dusky-pink flowers subtended by inch long papery bracts. Plant in light shade to full sun along the coast and irrigate occasionally to infrequently - tolerates and grows more rapidly with regular irrigation but can also be grown well with very little irrigation. Hardy to around the mid 20's F - though from a habitat that rarely sees a frost this plant has weathered temperatures down to 25 F in cultivation without damage. This plant was first described from cultivated material in England so there is not a known type locality but it inhabits areas from the Khosi Bay area of KwaZulu-Natal north to southern Mozambique where it is found growing in dry stony soils in the subtropical thorny forest understory from sea level to about 3,300 feet in elevation. It is similar to another maculate (spotted) aloe, Aloe pruinosa, which is larger and more solitary and blooms a tad earlier in mid to late summer with pink flowers that are covered in a greyish-white powdery bloom. Aloe greenii was named in 1880 obviously to honor some mysterious person named C.G. or G.H. Green by John Gilbert Baker, who worked as Joseph Hooker's assistant in the Kew herbarium. The plant was described from living material given to Baker by British nurseryman Wilson Saunders, who had been sent the plants by a Mr. T. Cooper in South Africa. The Zulu common name for it is Icena. Fittingly we got our first stock plants of this plant unnamed from John Greenlee and we thank Brian Kemble at the Ruth Bancroft garden for help in identifying it. 

This information about Aloe greenii 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.