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Aloe inyangensis - "Grass Aloe"

The only place on earth you'll find Aloe inyangensis - the "Grass Aloe" - is a small section of mountains on the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique in east Africa.  This beautiful Aloe is unusual for several reasons, including that it blooms all throughout the year.  It also has smooth, grass-like leaves arranged in an attractive fan-like shape.  Fortunately the plant grows up on steep cliffs, where it is protected from the dangers of logging, farming, and seasonal fires that threaten the lowland plants.  This species is pretty rare in cultivation.  I don't know any other source for fresh seeds. 

Aloe inyangensis - "Grass Aloe"

The Grass Aloe spreads by suckers, eventually forming a large colony of "grass".  The thorns on the leaves are tiny and quite harmless.  The succulent leaves are 8-12 inches long and emerge on an unusual stalk 12 inches long or more.  The arching, fan-shaped nature of the plant somewhat resembles Worsleya, and, in fact, both plants have similar habitats.  The beautiful flowers appear most months of the year atop 12-18 inch tall stems.  The tubular blooms are reddish-orange tipped with green, and are much welcomed by hummingbirds.

Aloe inyangensis - "Grass Aloe"

Aloe inyangensis - "Grass Aloe"

Aloe inyangensis is fairly adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions.  It may be grown like a typical cactus or succulent, although some afternoon shade may be appreciated in hotter conditions.  It does not need a lot of sunlight to thrive.  It is said to handle a light frost (Zone 9) and should be protected from temperatures below 22 F (-5C).  Grow it in a fast draining soil mix, such as cactus soil.  It is fairly drought-tolerant, although it looks the best when given adequate water and fertilizer.

Aloe inyangensis - "Grass Aloe"

 

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