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Aloe distans Haw.

Jewelled aloe

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyXanthorrhoeaceaeAloes, many tropical plants, flax lilies, daylilies, many others
GenusAloeMeans “goddess” in ancient Sanskrit, for its reputed use as a beauty aid; some sources suggest that the name comes from Alloeh, meaning “shining bitter substance”
SpeciesdistansSeparated, apart, widely-spaced, in reference to the long, exserted stamens, which are apart from each other

About plant names...

Jeweled aloe is a native of the west coast of the Southern Cape Province of South Africa, between Danger Point and St. Helen Bay. The species distans, meaning “standing apart,” is believed to be a reference to the tendency of these aloes to occur far from any similar aloes.

Identification: Rosettes are up to 5" (12 cm) in diameter, with flowering stalks up to 18" (45 cm) high. This species crawls along the ground, with long trailing stems that can reach 9½' (3 m). Leaves are blue-green in color, up to 6" (15 cm) long, with golden spines. Flowers are coral-colored.

See the Aloe comparison table.

Aloe distans (jewelled aloe)

The spreading nature of this aloe is unusual. By brewbooks@flickr.

Online References:

Aloe distans on Desert-tropicals.com

Aloe distans at San Marcos Growers

Aloe distans on Succulents.co.za

Aloe distans at the South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Penninsula in California

Aloe distans on The Garden Geeks

Aloe perfoliata var. brevifolia

Aloe brevifolia

Aloe mitriformis var. angustior

Aloe mitriformis var. brevifolia


Aloe distans description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Aloe distans (jewelled aloe)

2/26/2010 · San Diego Zoo, San Diego, Cali­fornia
≈ 17 × 15" (43 × 37 cm)

Range: Zones 9-11:

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