Fairly quick grower it is a good flowerer and an easy species to
care. They do look better with some sun
A young turgid plant in autumn...
...the same plant at the end of the dry winter rest.
margins are armed with prominent , horny, pink or brownish
The dangling flowers are pale
yellow-green to bright orange, organized in simple pyramidal whorl.
Aloe sinkatana Reynolds
In: JS Afr. Bot. 23: 39, April 1957
Origin: Sudan, Northern Africa.
Habitat: It grows in lowland plains, hills
and mountains around 1000 m elevation in sandy soils in semi-desert
vegetation type. The wild population has been decimated for its leaves
which are valued in treatment of skin disease.
Etymology: The genus name "Aloe" is derived from the Arabic,
"alloch" and translated as "alla" in Greek and Hebrew, literally meaning
bitter or bitter sap which is descriptive of Aloe sap. The
species namecomes from “Sinkat” the locality which appears
to be its specific centre of origin.
Description: Compact clumping rosettes, up to 60 cm tall and 60-90
cm in diameter. It sucker below base from root and forms large groups.
Stem: Plants are usually stemless or with a short stem up to 30
Leaves: The light-green leaves may sometimes be tinged reddish
and have oblong white translucent blotches more or less arranged in a
series of irregular transverse bands. The margins are soaked in pink and
armed with more or less forward pointing sharp, horny pink to brownish
Flowers: Dangling, bisexual,
pale yellow-green to bright orange, organized in simple
(sometimes branched) pyramidal whorl on short flower stems. The flowers
attracts hummingbirds at a time when there are not many other
hummingbird flowers available.
Blooming season: Winter
Fruit: The fruit is a many-seeded capsule, dehiscing
sinkatana is easy to grow and adaptable, it suckers freely and
can form dense groups. It can be grown in large containers. Always use a
good quality, loamy sandy soil with plenty of drainage with chips at the
bottom of containers. It tolerates weekly watering in the summer; once a
month, or not at all in the colder months of December and January. Can
withstand long periods of drought, but they will thrive and flower more
profusely if watered in the correct season. Incorrect watering, poor
drainage or too much shade can lead to attack by pests and diseases.
full sun to
partial shade, but plants grown in partial shade usually look
healthier and more
succulent. It is
very hardy when grown in full sun with the minimum
water. This aloe is very
drought, although the tips of the leaves may wither and curl during
dry periods. Supplemental
watering will help keeping the leaves plump and juicy.
Hardiness: Avoid freezing temperatures.
Maintenance: Removal of old flower
stalks; Divide the crowded
clumps periodically. It grows much better outdoors in spring and
offshoots that develop around the outside of the main rosette in
spring, the cuttings must be dried out for at least 1 week
before planting in river sand. It can also be propagated or by seed
planted in autumn, in trays of coarse river sand. Fresh seeds
germinate quickly at 18°C.
Gardening: In mild
climates it can be cultivated outdoors for use in landscaping, it can
be grown in large, rocky, well-drained soil in gardens in drier areas.
Aloe sinkatana adapts well to a variety of soils and climates,
but will grow best in regions with a climate close to that of its
native deserts not too cold, and not too wet.
It makes an excellent ground cover, grows best in a sunny position and
makes a long lasting cut flower. They grow slowly, but not agonisingly
so being able to increase their width by 10- 20 cm per year under
Hybridizing: Must be a
good flowerer and reproducer as hybrids with this species are flooding
the aloe market, and are all over the botanical gardens.
Medicine: The leaf juice
is valued locally to treat a variety of ailments including skin
diseases, constipation, anthelmintic and haemorrhoids. The leaves are
also used to treat fever, diabetic, tonsillitis and inflammatory