Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Aloe
Aloe betsileensis

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: betsileensis

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Aloe betsileensis by palmbob

By thistlesifter
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By palmbob
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By palmbob
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By thistlesifter
Thumbnail #7 of Aloe betsileensis by thistlesifter

There are a total of 30 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive baiissatva On Feb 10, 2010, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b coastal Otago NZ

Another lovely Madagascan aloe with a lot of potential, similar to my A Capitata (don't ask what subsps it is because I cannot for the life of me make sense of the differences) which also does well here. Similar in appearance, but not identical- it's hard to put your finger on the differences but side by side, you can tell they're not the same species. Perhaps it's a little more sinuous, leaves a bit less plump, red marginal teeth not quite the same, slightly more 'green' than the steely banded blues in my Capitata etc. But if a low growing rosette with interesting colouration is what you're after, either species would do well. The Betsileensis is slightly more elegant, the Capitata more punky, if you know what I mean.

It's a young plant around 20cm across and didn't enjoy a full day of high summer sun, so moved it to half shade, and it's now fattening up and going forward. Every summer I observe that many succulents just can't deal with full exposure here, even though temps only occasionally push the 30 celcius mark, especially in association with concrete and paving, and reflected heat or UV from house walls. This plant was definitely one of them, at least as a juvenile.

Nice plant tho. Will add info as it grows.

Positive thistlesifter On Dec 30, 2008, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

Here are excerpts of G.W. Reynolds description of the plant which was first published from his field observations of both mature and immature plants at a locality he discovered between 83 and 102 km South of Ihosy on the road to Betroka, Madagascar in the late 1950's.

...20-30 leaves in average specimens - 50 in very large plants. densely rosulate - spreading- ascending 30-40 cm long. (reflected in imaged specimens)..... 7-9 cm broad at base narrowing to apex which slightly twisted, obtusely rounded and shortly toothed. Upper surface dull green with reddish tinge, without spots or markings. Flat on top to slightly canalculate (canal form), lower surface convex similar to upper surface; margins with reddish edge armed with deltoid, pungent, reddish teeth 2-3mm, long and 8-12mm. apart; sap dries yellow... all foregoing is verifiably evident on imaged specimens here showing flowers.

...Inflorescence simple and 60cm high in young plants,... 3-4 branched and 70--80 cm, high in old specimens, sometimes 5-branched and over 1m. high in very large plants...

...Bracts ovate-obtuse, fleshy, reddish.... verifiable on imaged some specimen(s) with open flower.

....Perianth cylindric slightly campanulate,....yellow with orange tips .....average 15 mm long, 7mm across. ...copious amounts of clear nector.... foregoing are verifiably evident on imaged specimens here showing flowers.

..Peduncle robust, brown with a bloom, plano-convex and 3-4cm broad at base, more slender upwards, with 1-4 branches from about the middle, clothed below the racemes with several fleshy sterile bracts that are 10-12mm long and broad low down, smaller upwards...Reynolds provides pictures of in situ specimen with multiple-branched peduncles with 3 or more branches from middle much like candelabra. some of foregoing peduncle characteristics is visible on imaged specimens. Palm Bob's single raceme (un-branched) peduncle specimen image looks very characteristic of the Reynolds picture of the budded raceme except that both of Reynolds example plants have multiple-branched peduncles and multiple peduncles. Palm Bob's un-branched example is very young and Reynolds mentions in his description that young plants will often have no branches on the peduncle.

...Racemes cylindric 30-35 cm long, 4-5cm diam., the lateral a little shorter, very densely multiflowered, the flowers arranged in 13 spirally twisted rows, the flowers... orange and opening first on the sunny side , ....all buds visible and not hidden by bracts. Foregoing raceme characteristics is verifiable in imaged specimens.

A great easy-to-grow Aloe in North coastal San Diego County.

Positive palmbob On Jul 7, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Madagascan plant, showing a lot of nice color, particularly as a young seedling. Grows up looking a LOT like Aloe conifera though two to three times larger- otherwise differs mainly in floral details- flowers tend to be more branched and start out orange before opening yellow. Has striking red teeth on leaf margins. Flowers look nothing like A capitata, so easy to distinguish there. Leaves of this plant are always colorful- either a deep turquoise or, when stressed, a purplish red hue. Plants always solitary and stemless. One of the most attractive mid-sized landscape aloes in my opinion.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bonsall, California
Reseda, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Vista, California

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