Aloe barberae

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This section is dedicated toward maintaining one active thread for each Aloaceae species/subspecies/variety/cultivar. Please feel free to add information and/or photos to existing threads or start your own by adding Genus/species as the thread subject. Note that listings are displayed alphabetically. Enjoy!
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Geoff
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Aloe barberae

#1

Post by Geoff »

This used to be known as Aloe bainsii, but turns out it was first named barberae, so that name gets priority. This is a super fast and massive tree aloe from South Africa... and a great specimen plant for Mediterranean climates if you have the room. Other than exposing it to cold, I have not been able to kill this plant no matter how little I care for it, or how much I over water it. It is easily one of the fastest growing of all the Aloes (and probably the fastest of the non-hybrid aloes). A 5 gallon plant grew up to more than 20' tall in my yard in just 8 years. Other than its size and relative cold sensitivity (damaged at temps below 28F), it seems a bit more prone to get Aloe Mite infections as well as mealy bug problems (particularly if grown in any shade). But I have yet to see either kill this plant. In just 20 or so years the base of this plant can get quite large and grow up to over 30' in circumference, so be sure you have room... or don't water it so much. Eventually the stem base can grow to 5-10 feet in diameter.
Aloe barberaes chem.JPG
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Aloe barbarae Whitelock.jpg
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Aloe barberaes in private gardens, southern California

This is the largest of all the Aloe species (though not the tallest)... on old specimen can develop a base of about 15' or more in diameter. Leaves are long, very rubbery and flexible, though break easily when bent too far. Flowers in winter are somewhat variable from year to year (some years almost no flowers, others tons)- I am sure it is due to some weather phenomenon... just not sure if its rain or warmth. Aloes flower within the crown of the plant, are on short stalks and pinkish orange... this compares to the tall, over the crown smaller light orange flowers of Aloe tongaensis, a very common and similar looking large tree aloe in cultivation in California (and often confused with Aloe barberae).... Aloe barberae is one of the more sensitive aloes to Aloe mite, and often large tumor-like masses can be seen high up in the trees, though it does not seem to affect the over all health of the plant much. Very drought tolerant but loves water and will grow faster them ore water its given. Prone to mealy bug, too, if grown in any shade.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#2

Post by Geoff »

Huntington Gardens
Huntington Gardens
Aloe barbare H.JPG (252.29 KiB) Viewed 14414 times
Los Angeles fair grounds
Los Angeles fair grounds
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public gardens, southern California
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Re: Aloe barberae

#3

Post by Geoff »

Aloe barberae in full flowre.JPG
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Aloe barberae flowers Jan.jpg
Aloe barberae flowers Jan.jpg (212.94 KiB) Viewed 14416 times
trees in flower, winter, southern California
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Re: Aloe barberae

#4

Post by Geoff »

Aloe barbarae sky view.jpg
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View of branches from below
aloe barberae CCC in nice pot.JPG
aloe barberae CCC in nice pot.JPG (143.51 KiB) Viewed 14417 times
Potted plant for sale
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Re: Aloe barberae

#5

Post by Geoff »

Aloe barberae details with bees 2013 H.jpg
Aloe barberae details with bees 2013 H.jpg (84.98 KiB) Viewed 14418 times
Aloe barbare flower close hunt.JPG
Aloe barbare flower close hunt.JPG (244.91 KiB) Viewed 14418 times
flowers closer
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Re: Aloe barberae

#6

Post by Gee.S »

WOW! That is really something. It is just too cold here for 'em, too bad.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Aloe barberae

#7

Post by zpunout »

click image to enlarge
Image
I Believe this is a small aloe barberae in pot. Leaves are variegated. Has grown about a foot since this photo six months ago.
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Geoff
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Re: Aloe barberae

#8

Post by Geoff »

Very nice... I would make a separate entry for this one.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#9

Post by Stan »

Now for marginal zone growing - the bay area. There are some that are sizable here. Very rare to see them planted. They do need full sun and don't grow so fast if big competing plants like Magnolia grandiflora are within the root zone.
I have grown one from a cutting stuck in the ground around 2000. Its about 8' with three trunks. No training by me or pruning. Its grown hard I admit.
They have sort of a Yucca guatemalensis look to the yard.
Hayward Ca. 75-80f summers,60f winters.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#10

Post by Stan »

My plant today,May 1st. Even well before they become behemoths,you can admire the form,the striation on the trunks.
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Hayward Ca. 75-80f summers,60f winters.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#11

Post by zpunout »

Stan wrote:My plant today,May 1st. Even well before they become behemoths,you can admire the form,the striation on the trunks.
That's interesting. Are they multiple trees growing together or a very early branched tree?
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Re: Aloe barberae

#12

Post by Stan »

VERY early branched. It was one small cutting stuck in the ground around 2000-2002. I took it too literal of the info at the time that it needed almost no watering..I also had a Aloe ciliaris in a big clump around it..it even gets too much shade. I later learned..they like summer water and no sooner did I remove the Aloe ciliaris...then it put on a big growth spurt and looks more robust then it ever did.
It is interesting that the original little cutting that could not have been more then a few inches above ground...soon fused into 3 plants. Or,looks like that.
Hayward Ca. 75-80f summers,60f winters.
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Azuleja
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Re: Aloe barberae

#13

Post by Azuleja »

Aloe barberae with Agave 'Blue Flame' at the Huntington.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#14

Post by Spination »

Awesome photo. Amazing tree. Given the venerable history of the property and assembly of the gardens, I wonder if that behemoth could be 100 years old or so?
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Re: Aloe barberae

#15

Post by Geoff »

Tree that size could be 20, maybe 40 at the most... these are FAST growing Aloes. Mine was a good 20' feet tall in just 10 years.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#16

Post by Spination »

Wow, impressive. Thanks for that info. That trunk is so massive!
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Re: Aloe barberae

#17

Post by Stan »

The thing is...they are not desert plants. They come from canyon's and mixed forests in South Africa that receive much more rain then California ever gets. I think up to 70". They also grow up to 90'..huge tree's.
They might be Aloe's..but they could almost grow by a stream if its a warm enough climate.
Hayward Ca. 75-80f summers,60f winters.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#18

Post by Viegener »

But they get mostly summer rain in their habitat, right? Or also some non-summer rain as well? Can't remember...
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Re: Aloe barberae

#19

Post by Stan »

Viegener wrote:But they get mostly summer rain in their habitat, right? Or also some non-summer rain as well? Can't remember...
And that would only make for even more growth. Its a wonder Florida doesn't have these..somehow Pachypodium lamerei survives hurricanes. I bet nobody even tries there.
Hayward Ca. 75-80f summers,60f winters.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#20

Post by mcvansoest »

I have one here in Mesa, AZ. It is in a pot still and not too happy in the summer, even through the shade tree it is under, it gets pretty 'sun burned' yellowed leaves when it gets really hot. I am planning to put it into the ground, but missed the window this spring, so we will try to nurse it through another summer.
It is what it is!
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Re: Aloe barberae

#21

Post by zpunout »

a. barberae at Adelaide Botanic Gardens. I asked a worker about their age. He believes they are about 120 years old.
a. barberae at Adelaide Botanic Gardens Australia
a. barberae at Adelaide Botanic Gardens Australia
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Re: Aloe barberae

#22

Post by zpunout »

a. barberae in Adelaide Botanic Gardens Australia
a. barberae in Adelaide Botanic Gardens Australia
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Younger barberae. Adelaide Botanic Gardens has a newer section with multiple aloidendron trees planted as well as a collection of Leo Thamm hybrid aloes.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#23

Post by Stan »

I read that the largest ones at the Huntington were cut down due to a rot. But,that's a huge story that was given with no details. Was it those giant ones near the start of the dry gardens? All the oldest or just some? Why did they all get rot at the same time after near a century?
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Re: Aloe barberae

#24

Post by Viegener »

I was just there & about half the old ones are gone. They have a few good-sized ones left, so you might not miss them if you didn't remember the old ones. I recall that a few of the old ones had so much die-back that they looked asymmetrical & not right.
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Re: Aloe barberae

#25

Post by Geoff »

I don't know... I would say about 90% of them are gone... and they have been rotting for years... but finally some were falling apart, and some had bad cases of aloe mite... so bye bye. Now just a bunch of huge stumps.... pretty sad. And more sadly all my photos of those years of large aloe trees were lost 8 years ago... never to be replaced now. Oh well... here's a few shots I have left.
Aloe barberae early flower H.jpg
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Aloe barbeare flowering great H.jpg
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