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Aloe barberae Dyer

Large tree 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”

About plant names...

This is Africa's largest aloe, a beautiful and unmistakable tree. It is found in the eastern regions of southern Africa: Mozambique, Swaziland and Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, South Africa. Its species name, barberae, is for Mary Elizabeth Barber, a plant collector who sent specimens of the plant to the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

Identification: Trees are up to 49′ (15 m) high and 3′ (90 cm) in diameter. Eventually the tree forms a rounded crown, with leaves grouped in dense rosettes up to 5′ (1.5 m) in diameter. Leaves are dark green, roughly triangular in cross section but deeply channeled. The racemes (flowerheads) are conical, up to 2′ (60 cm) long. Individual flowers are 1-1¼″ (3-3.7 cm) long, and pale yellow, orange-yellow, or salmon-pink; tipped with green.

Online References:

The South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com

The Huntington Botanical Gardens




Flora of Mozambique


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

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Aloe barberae (large tree aloe)

8/9/2023 · Epworth School, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa · By Benjamin Winslow ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 9-11:

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