Aloe aristata
Common Name: torch plant 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Asphodelaceae
Native Range: South Africa
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Coral-orange
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in dry, very well-draining soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers some light shade if grown outdoors in a climate with hot summers. As a houseplant, this succulent requires as much bright light as possible. Tolerates some drought once established. Reduce watering during the winter. A relatively vigorous grower and easily propagated from offsets. Hardy in Zones 7-11.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aloe aristata, commonly called torch plant or lace aloe, is a low-growing, evergreen, rosette-forming succulent native to a range of habitats in southern Africa. These include the dry sands of the Karoo region and cool, rocky slopes in Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal. Lace aloe is often found growing in clumps of ten or more rosettes, forming a low mound up to 2' wide. The rosettes can reach up to 8" in diameter and are made up of dark, grey-green, triangle shaped foliage (up to 6" long) with small white spots and fine, white hairs along their margins. In summer, flowering stalks (up to 15" tall) appear from mature rosettes bearing a cluster of tubular, pendulous, coral-orange blooms.

The genus name Aloe comes from the Arabic name of these perennial succulents.

The specific epithet aristata means "bearing bristles or a beard", and refers to the fine, white hairs found on the leaf margins of this species.

Problems

Avoid overhead watering, as this can lead to rotting within the rosettes. Constantly wet or poorly draining soils can also lead to rot. Watch for mealy bugs and scale, particularly when grown indoors.

Uses

Desert gardens, rock gardens, xeriscaping. Suitable for container growing and use as a houseplant.