Aloe barbarae Dyer


Aloe barbarae is Africa's tallest aloe reaching some 45' in height and truly deserving the description of a tree aloe. It has traditionally been called Aloe bainesii but the name barbarae one of South Africa's premier plant collectors after Mary Elizabeth Barber has taken precedence. It is also called boomaalwyn in Afrikaans and inKalane enkulu in Zulu which means 'the big one.' After it was first found by Barber and named for her by Dr. Robert Allen Dyer, Director of the Botanical Research Institute in Praetoria, it was found by the well known traveller, explorer and painter Mr. Thomas Baines in 1873 in KwaZulu-Natal. He sent samples to Joseph Hooker at Kew who named it in his honor, but being a later name it had to give way to 'barbarae.' The tall branching grayish-brown trunk forms a rounded crown of branches each ending in a rosette of dark green recurved and channeled leaves which are smooth-surfaced and armed with small white teeth on the margins. The flowers are rose-pink and appear mostly during June and July. Its habitat is coastal forests and tall bush and inland dry valleys ranging from South Africa into Mozambique.and East Africa. With a trunk diameter of up to 9' it is a beautiful and impressive plant.