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Products > Aloe yavellana 'Gilfrid Powys'
Aloe yavellana 'Gilfrid Powys' - Powys Yavello Aloe
Image of Aloe yavellana 'Gilfrid Powys'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Origin: Ethiopia (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Violet Red
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe yavellana 'Gilfrid Powys' - An interesting and attractive shrub aloe with erect branching stems to around 3 feet tall before laying over with rosettes of foot long gray-green leaves that narrow to an acuminate tip and with stout teeth along the margins. The leaves will bronze a bit when grown in full sun but remain a more gray green color in part day exposure or in light shade. In late summer into fall and occasionally at other times of the year (a repeat bloomer) appear the well branched racemes that barely exceed the height of the leaves with buds that are a reddish color and distinctly white-flecked with gray stripes.

This plant has not been widely cultivated but we feel it should grow best in full to part sun in a well-drained soil and be irrigated only occasionally. At our location and elsewhere where we know it has been cultivated it has only been subjected to temperatures slightly below freezing (31 F) but we feel it likely that it may be cold hardy down to mid to upper 20's.

The native range Aloe yavellana is from the desert or dry shrubland biome of southwestern Ethiopia in the Sidamo Province west of Yavello (also spelled Yabello). The name Aloe comes from ancient Greek name aloe that was derived from the Arabian word 'alloch' that was used to describe the plant or its juice that was used as medicine and the specific epithet refers to the location of the type collection near Yabello. It was first described by Gilbert Westacott Reynolds in 1954 in the Journal of South African Botany. The Reynolds' originally described form of Aloe yavellana has flowers that open to expose orange-red flowers, but this form has paler yellow and purple flowers.

The plant we offer as the cultivar 'Gilfrid Powys' came to us in 2020 from Tom Cole in of Cold Spring Aloes, who received it from John Miller at the Institute for Aloe Studies. Miller first got the plant from Gilfrid Powys when he visited him in Kenya. Powys, a rancher aloe grower and conservationist, who has since died after being trampled by an elephant, had reportedly collected the plant in Ethiopia but we are told that that no data exists on the exact collection locality. Tom Cole has made three separate trips to the area and located the two locations that G.W. Reynolds mentions in his original description of the species, one on the northeast slopes of Mega Mountain and the other a kilometer west of the town of Yabello and the plants at these locations are different than the Gilfrid Powys material. This Powys collection has grayer leaves and the flowers at the Reynold's collection sites are scarlet, while the flowers on this Powys collection are an unusual greyish purple, though both are gray-striped and white-flecked on the outside, which is diagnostic for the species. These differences and similarities merit further investigation as to the origin of this plant and to distinguish it from the original Reynolds form we list this plant with the collectors name. 

This information about Aloe yavellana 'Gilfrid Powys' displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.