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PlantFiles: Somalian Aloe
Aloe somaliensis

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: somaliensis (soh-mal-ee-EN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Aloe somaliensis var. somaliensis

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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No positives
1 neutral
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Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral palmbob On Mar 19, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Short-stemmed rosette of shiny, stiff bright green, sometimes striped, leaves armed with sharp spines along the edges. As a young aloe, and sometimes an adult, the plant is highly spotted. This Aloe is closely related to several other spotted aloes that are sometimes confused with this species... and as young plants, I personally can't tell them apart. A somaliensis tends to be a non-suckering species. Aloe somaliensis, according to the original description of the species, is a sometimes mottled plant (not always) with most older plants having little or not mottling. But the main thing that sets this apart from A hemingii is this plant has a large, multibranched inflorescence, not a simple, unbranched one that A hemmingii usually has.. also, the flowers tend to be a bit more on the reddish/orange side than pale pink like A hemmingii. I have discovered that most plants sold as this are indeed A hemmingii, not this. So if you have an Aloe somaliensis and it blooms a simple, unbranched pink flowered inflorescence, be suspicious that your plant is actually the much more common Aloe hemmingii.

Aloe hemmingii is nearly identical to this as a young plant, only A somaliensis tends to be even more prominently spotted, and eventually grow into plants about 2x the size of Aloe hemmingii. Aloe hemmingii is a prodigious offsetter, which sets it apart from A somaliensis.

Aloe mcloughlinii is, as far as I can tell, identical to Aloe hemingii so same discussion.

Aloe harlana, another solitary species, tends to have less well defined spots, and the flowers are more showy and deeper in color (reds to dark reds or deep red-orange). It gets larger than A somaliensis (about 1 and 1/2 times as large) and is the least common of the 4 in cultivation.

I cannot find any information (though sure it exists somewhere) as to what the difference between this ssp and marmorata is. However, that is moot now as Carter, Lavranos et al in Aloes, the Definitive Guide, do not recognize a subspecies marmorata.


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

Apache Junction, Arizona
Carefree, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Carlsbad, California
Mission Viejo, California
San Diego, California

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