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Products > Aloe rupestris
Aloe rupestris - Bottlebrush Aloe
Image of Aloe rupestris
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (now Asphodeloideae)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Height: 8-10 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Aloe rupestris (Bottlebrush Aloe) - A moderately fast growing aloe that is found in the wild as single stemmed tree aloe growing to 25 feet tall but in plants in cultivation in California are a more offsetting form that is more shrubby unless trimmed up with a tall slender main stem reaching to 8 feet tall or more that is topped with a dense rosette of 2 foot long by 3 to 4 inches wide green color smooth textured leaves that are deeply channeled (canaliculate) and arch out and recurve down with reddish-brown teeth along the margins. In late winter (early March in Santa Barbara) appear the sturdy candelabra-like inflorescence rising to 4 feet above the rosettes bearing many (12 to 15) 8 to 10 inch long upright and straight bottlebrush-like spikes of flowers that start out as tight masses of bright yellow buds that burst open to display the long orange-red stamens - not long lasting but an amazing display that looks more like a Banksia flower than an aloe when in full bloom. Plant in full sun in a well-draining soil and irrigate occasionally to regularly - this aloe can take it dry or with abundant summer irrigation, so long as the soil drains well. It is also one of the hardier of the large aloes, tolerating temperatures down to at least 25F without any damage. Aloe rupestris has fairly slender stems and can be a little top heavy, particularly when in bloom, so staking may be in order as it gets taller - apparently in its natural habitat it grows in dense shrub thickets that help support it. The old dried up leaves remain and may look a little shaggy but can be trimmed off is a neater look is required. When not in bloom Aloe rupestris can look a lot like several other related species such as Aloe thraskii and Aloe excelsa but when in flower, there is no way it can be confused. This plant is native to the summer-rainfall areas of south-eastern South Africa in the Kwazulu-Natal Province, South Africa, as well as Swaziland and southern Mozambique where it can be found in rocky areas in bushveld, sandy coastal forest, rocky ridges and slopes and appropriately the specific epithet is Latin meaning "of rocky places". This plant was a 2008 International Succulent Institute Introduction as ISI 2008-10. Aloe rupestris Baker.  The information about Aloe rupestris displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.