40 - 60 cm. Flower spike up to 1 m
light; moderate; hardy
Peach; orange; winter: spring; summer
sun; walls; roof gardens; slope bank; dry soils; sandy soils; clay soils; rockery; windy exposed; wildlife bees butterflies insects birds; narrow spaces;
grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn; rocky areas; fynbos; urban streets
Subtropical East Coast; Highveld; Thicket; fynbos
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The Soap Aloe is a delightful spotted succulent with distinctive flat-topped inflorescence in hues of orange, red and yellow. Equally characteristic is the uniform flower colour, helping to differentiate it from other spotted aloes. Flowering time is quite variable: December to January in Fynbos gardens; June to August on the Highveld, and May to June in subtropical East Coast areas. Mature plants can form large groups, spreading via stolons (Stoloniferous plants send out stems that grow at the soil surface or just below ground. New roots grow from the stem and produce new plants). Leaves are a soft green, spotted white, during the wet season; brown and rust in a dry season, always armed with sharp teeth able to draw the blood of an unwary gardener. Tips are usually dry and twisted, wide at the base, and open into a flattish rosette. Drought and frost hardy, it adapts to an extensive range of conditions – soil, seasonal and quantities of rain, temperature.