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Products > Plants - Browse By Region > Aloe classenii
Aloe classenii - Classen's Aloe

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (Aloes)
Origin: Kenya (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Winter
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe classenii (Classen's Aloe) - An attractive and colorful suckering low-growing aloe to 18 inches tall that spreads horizontally up to 2 feet along creeping stems with emerging rosettes holding stiff bright lime green leaves that take on burgundy tones in varying amounts depending on how much sun it receives and how dry it is grown - dry growing plants in full sun can actually be a solid maroon color. Flowering occurs in late fall into winter with the buds, first a dark reddish color aging to pink and opening to display flowers of an unusual dark glaucus pink color, sometimes described as brownish, that have exerted orange stamens and are held on a well branched slender inflorescence that rises above the foliage to about 30 inches - the flowers are also unique in that there is a noted space between the outer tepals near their tips, instead of being tubular like most aloes. This plant will grow and flower in considerable shade but has more interesting foliage colors when in full sun. Though listed by some as not particularly cold hardy, it has proven hardy in our garden to 25F, having weathered the January 2007 freeze with three nights down to this temperature, though winter flowers will be damaged at these temperatures. An attractive and interesting plant both for its unique plastic-like leaves and for its unusual flowers. It is found in nature only on rocky outcrops in dry bushland around 2,000 feet in southeastern Kenya, near the border with Tanzania. The epithet honors Russia born geologist George A. Classen who in settled in Nairobi Kenya and collected plants during his travels. Gilbert Westacott Reynolds named the plant for Classen in gratitude for help providing plants, data and photographs of this species and others. Our plants all vegetatively propagated from a plant received in 2006 from Stockton succulent grower Alice Waidhofer who got the plant from International Succulent Introductions (ISI) found Lloyd Davis in 1998. The ISI, now managed by the Huntington Botanic Garden, had the collection location of their accession as coming from the type locality of the species at Kizima Rocks, a rock outcrop in southern Kenya.  This description is based on research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Aloe classenii.