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Fan Aloe

Aloe plicatilis

Waaieraalwyn, Bergaalwyn, Tongaalwyn, Franschhoekaalwyn (Afr.)

The fan Aloe is a unique and striking multi-branched shrub or small tree species with a woody trunk. The forked stems have clusters of strap-shaped, light green to blue-grey leaves arranged in 2 opposite rows (termed distichous). The clusters resemble an open fan, hence it's common name fan Aloe, the leaves are around 30cm long. Flowers are striking scarlet in colour, tipped with green-yellow and are visible winter-spring. It is used as an ornamental garden plant. A unique feature is the corky bark, adapted to Fynbos veld fires.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Winter, Spring

Harvesting

Seeds should be allowed to dry for at least 3 months after flowering before they are harvested.

Propagation

Cuttings
Branch cuttings (truncheons) can be used and should be planted in well drained soil in a cool area that is not exposed to afternoon sun.
Seed
Plant seeds during spring in well-drained seed trays. Replant in the desired position when seedlings are large enough to handle and space 1.2 m - 2.4 m apart.

Special features

Attracts birds
Sugarbirds are attracted by the nectar that the flowers produce.

Geography

Origin
South Africa (Southwestern Cape, Franschhoek and Elandskloof).
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Sand, Loam
Soil PH preference
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Notes
Ornamental and medicinal.

Personality

Family
Asphodelaceae
Flower colour
, Red, Orange
Scent
None

Problems

Overwatering or poor drainage may lead to root rot, but is seldom a problem where plants are watered correctly.

Companion plants

Grows best in mineral poor sandy soil, and companion plants includes other Fynbos species.

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