Beautiful dark green leaves with distinctive white spots and coarsely-toothed margins; foliage sometimes has reddish tinge.
Scientific name: Aloe saponaria var. saponaria
Vernacular names include: Soap aloe, Zebra aloe
Beautiful dark green leaves with distinctive white spots and coarsely-toothed margins; foliage sometimes has reddish tinge. This aloe is very tolerant of drought, although the tips of the leaves may wither and curl during hot, dry periods.
Description: Soap aloe grows in a (usually) stemless, clumping rosette, that often overgrown in succulent gardens. The main rosette gets up to 30/45cm tall and just as wide. The lance-shaped leaves are thick pale green spotted (with linear spots- almost streaked) foliage sometimes has reddish tinge and 25-30 cm long. The leaf margins are armed with prominent dark brown teeth.
NOTE: The sap from the juicy leaves makes suds in water and can be used as a soap substitute, but contrarily to the medicinal A. barbadensis (A. vera), its sap should not be used on the wound skin, as it is irritating and can provoke dermatitis in sensitive people.
Cultivation: Very easy to grow and adaptable need a mineral soil with good drainage.
Uses:Gardening: This aloe can be grown in large, rocky, well-drained soil in gardens in drier areas. It is very drought resistant but susceptible to frost. Aloe saponaria adapts well to a variety of soils and climates. It makes an excellent ground cover, grows best in a sunny position and makes a long lasting cut flower.