AZ Arboretums

Aloe ferox

Cape AloeCommon: Tap Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Cape Aloe
Family: Asphodelaceae
Origin/Range: South Africa, Cape Province to Orange Free State and Lesotho
Light: Full sun to light shade, tolerates reflected heat
Temp: Hardy to 24°F (-4°C), the blossom might be frost damaged below 28°F (-2°C)
Water: Fairly drought tolerant, but looks better with regular watering

Also known as Aloe socotorina, Aloe subferox, Aloe ferox var. subferox, Aloe galpinii, Aloe ferox var. incurva, Aloe ferox var. hanburyi, Aloe ferox var. erythrocarpa, Aloe candelabrum, Aloe supralaevis, Aloe perfoliata var. ferox, Aloe perfoliata var. zeta, Aloe perfoliata var. gamma, Aloe perfoliata var. epsilon, Aloe muricata, Aloe perfoliata, Aloe horrida, Aloe ferox var. galpinii, Aloe pseudoferox

Solitary succulent. Grows slowly to 12 foot tall (3.6 m), 5 feet in diameter (1.5 m). Seeds, side branches can be used as cuttings. The dead leaves might be removed to expose the trunk.

Spectacular orange flowers in late winter to early spring.

Aloe ferox is most well-known for its medicinal properties. The sap is used as a purgative and is commonly called bitter aloes and it has been in use for the past 200 years.

The specie name 'ferox' means 'ferocious' and it refers to the spiny leaves.