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Products > Aloe helenae
Aloe helenae

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: Madagascar
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Aloe helenae - A typically non-branching small tree aloe to 13 feet tall but in cultivation it is noted that plants often branch from the base. I has 4 foot long recurved and channeled olive green leaves that turn red in bright light and drought stress. In late winter to early spring (earliest in warmer areas) appear the multiple short unbranched inflorescences at the top of the rosette with red buds that open to pale yellow in 6 inch long cylindrical racemes that are tightly covered with hundreds of flowers - fully open they resemble a grouping of Banksia flowers more than they do a typical aloe. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently - likely can be unirrigated once established. This plant has been in cultivation only in near frost free gardens so until we know better we list its frost tolerance to 30 F. It grows near the ocean in nature so likely can be planted at least in near coastal gardens. A very attractive and unusual species that is is known to be easy to cultivate in gardens in mild areas. This plant is endemic to the Fort Dauphin region in the extreme south-west of the Toliara Province of Madagascar, where only two or three very small populations are known to occur in thorny bush along sandy shores. It is considered Critically Endangered. The specific epithet honors Helen Decary, the wife of Raymond Decary, a French financial administrator and 20th century botanist in Madagascar. Our plants cutting grown from plants received in 2012 from the Institute of Aloe Studies (IAS 12-011c).  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome 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 would aid others in growing Aloe helenae.