Etymology: The genus name "Aloe" is derived from
the Arabic, "alloch" and translated as "allal"
in Greek and Hebrew, literally meaning bitter or bitter sap
which is descriptive of Aloe sap. The name "striata"
refers to the longitudinal thin red margin on the leaves.
Description: This is a
fantastic sculptural aloe with broad silvery leaves with dark green
stripes. It grows almost always as a single stemless rosette, usually
about 25 cm tall and 45 cm diameter (but it can grow up to to 1 m in
diameter in optimal conditions), older specimens may develop a short
Leaves: 5-20 x 20-50 cm, very fleshy, broad, spreading, smooth,
with spineless margin, silvery to blue green that vary in colour
depending on amount of sunlight; in very hot areas the foliage is
reddish and in cool spots they will be bluish-green, leaves go pink in
winter when it gets cold. They are softly striped with many grey-green
lines running down the length of the foliage and are edged with a thin
pink-orange incurved margin.
Flowers: Attractive coral red in tall flat-topped many-branching
inflorescences (approx 60 x 60 cm).
Blooming season: Winter to mid-spring an flowers last up to three
Remarks: True Aloe
striata is often hard to find because most seedlings are derived from
seed of plants grown in cultivation, which tend to hybridize with other
Aloes in the garden, producing mostly inferior hybrid seedlings, this
hybrids are similar but usually have spiny edges.
subspecies, varieties and forms:
subsp. striata which is the typical species described here
- subsp. karasbergensis (with pyramidal
- subsp. kommagasensis (the late two are both
more difficult to cultivate than the subsp. striata and
consequently seldom seen in gardens.)
Cultivation: Aloe striata
is a popular and most rewarding garden and pot plant. Mostly a winter
grower, it is relatively easy to cultivate under a wide variety of
climatic conditions provided it is planted in a well-drained situation
given adequate water but not over-watered. Grows it full sun and but
protect in summer from afternoon sun, and avoid reflected heat. 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. Plants grown
outdoor can withstand extreme frost and prolonged drought and can
survive often for several seasons without water, at which point the
leaves turn a reddish colour, a sign generally associated with stress.
Frost hardy to -5°C. Maintenance: Removal of old flower
stalks; During the
winter months, the plants should be grown cool to initiate flower
development (about 5-10°C ).
Propagation: 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. Seeds
must be sown as fresh as possible. Fresh seeds
quickly at 18°C.