Aloe striata is a stemless aloe with blue green leaves.
The leaves of this species lack the spines common on most Aloe and instead have a smooth attractive pinkish margin without any
teeth. Attractive coral red flowers are borne during the winter
months on tall flat-topped inflorescences. This species is comprised
of three subspecies; the typical subsp. striata which is
discussed here, as well as the two less well known subsp. karasbergensis
and subsp. kommagasensis which are both more difficult
to cultivate than the subsp. striata and consequently seldom
seen in gardens.
The subsp. striata is widely distributed over the Eastern & South Western Cape province. It grows in stony soils on
rocky hillsides in arid areas near the coast and the drier inland
As with most aloes, the plants provide nectar during
winter which is an important source of food for the attractive
sunbirds and many other nectivorous birds during the cooler period
of the year when food is not readily available.
Derivation of the name
Aloe from the Greek word for the dried juice of aloe leaves. The name "striata" refers to the longitudinal lines on the leaves of this species
Growing Aloe striata
Aloe striata is a popular and most rewarding
garden plant. It is relatively easy to cultivate under a wide
variety of climatic conditions provided it is planted in a well-drained
situation in full sun and given adequate water but not over-watered.
It can withstand extreme frost and prolonged drought. This species
is not only very showy when in flower but also during the rest
of the year on account of its attractive foliage.
Propagation is from seed which germinates easily
if sown in well drained soil and covered lightly with fine sand.
Seedlings grow fast, reaching flowering size in three to four
years. This species, as with most Aloe species, is subject
to attack by snout weevil, white scale and aloe rust, although
healthy specimens don't fall prey to pests and disease as easily
as stressed plants do. These maladies are best treated symptomatically
when they occur and your local nursery or garden centre should
be able to advise on products suitable for your particular situation.
Bornman, H & Hardy D.S. 1971. Aloes of the South African
Veld. Voortrekkerpers, Johannesburg.
Jackson, W.P.U. 1990. Origins and Meanings of
Names of South African Plant Genera. Ecolab, University of Cape Town.
Jeppe, B. 1969. South African Aloes. Purnell,
Reynolds, G.W. 1982. The Aloes of South Africa.
A.A. Balkema, Cape Town.
Van Wyk, B-E & Smith, G. 1996. Guide to the
Aloes of South Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria.
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden