Aloe plicatilis, the Fan Aloe is a unique and extremely beautiful tree Aloe, endemic to the South-Western Cape of South Africa where it grows in mountainous Fynbos habitat on rocky well-drained slopes and scree accumulations in sandy, acidic soil. The strap-like waxy foliage is distichous, one of only four Aloe species to retain this leaf arrangement into adult form where the leaves are two-ranked and 180 degrees apart from each other. This fan-like distichous phyllotaxis is further enhanced by its dichotomous branching habit where the trunk branches into forked pairs. It has also evolved several adaptations to help survive its fire-prone habitat: an unusual cork-like bark, its arborescent habit and its preferred niche high up on rocky slopes and outcrops.
A rare and choice Aloe. Seed-grown. Very limited quantities. Please do not buy this Aloe if you do not know how to look after it.
|Synonyms||Aloe disticha var. plicatilis, Aloe flabelliformis, Aloe lingua, Aloe linguiformis, Aloe tripetala, Kumara disticha, Rhipidodendrum distichum, Rhipidodendrum plicatile|
|Geographical Origin||South Africa: Western Cape|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Warm sheltered aspect in summer. Indoors in winter: conservatory or unheated glasshouse under heavy-grade fleece. Well-drained loose slightly acidic substrate. Water sparingly|
|Eventual Height||1m-3m in cultivation|
|Hardiness||Tender. Cold tolerant but not frost hardy. Do not attempt to over-winter this outdoors in the UK. Keep indoors throughout the winter and then take out into the garden in summer in a sheltered sunny aspect|
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