Aloe castanea Schönland


Aloe castanea is one of the larger shrubby or tree-like aloes, growing to 12' or so, with a single stem that can become branched in the upper portion. It has been called cat's tail aloe on account of the curled and snake-like inflorescences. The long somewhat narrow leaves are fleshy and smooth-surfaced and the margins are armed with small sharp brown teeth. This species blooms from June to August, producing clusters of small dark orange-brown flowers. Its flowers are more open than with the tubular form of most other aloes, and thus its nectar is more easily available to sugar-seeking birds and bees. As with many other stemmed aloes, dead dried lives often cover the trunk giving it an unkempt appearance. It is a native of South Africa, and more specifically of what used to be called the Northern Province of South Africa which is now called Limpopo..