Aloe Species, Bottlebrush Aloe

Aloe rupestris

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: rupestris (rue-PES-tris) (Info)
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Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


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:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Winter


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Bonsall, California

Encinitas, California

Hayward, California

Mission Viejo, California

Reseda, California

Spring Valley, California

Vista, California

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 7, 2016, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

This Aloe has had some very close calls over the years since I posted the photo. It did not grow much in the large container with a Euphorbia ammak. It became rather spindly. I then took it out out and planted in the ground. The Aloe quickly took to that and before I knew it i had a bulky top on a spindly stem.
About a year later,it broke off. I took the top and planted it. Interestingly,the stem never sprouted any new just died.
As of 2016,the top is now 3' overall and with a normal diameter trunk. I like the curved leaves also.
One more note. The plant has never shown any coloration even near red as it did as a young plant in 2009. Green all year. Has never pupped either.


On Nov 30, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

I got this as a specimen from a well-documented collection of rare and unusual aloes. I am currently treating the plant for aloe mites (aloe cancer) and it seems to be responding.

The plant is robust and vigorous. It uptakes as much water as I get to it. It is closest to the sprinkler head and so it gets the most of any Aloe in the gardens.

I was told by an authoritative Aloe expert that until a few years ago there was one clone of A. rupestris in the USA, and it was widely propagated by offsets. 2 other trees in our gardens seem to be this "clustering Aloe". They are not nearly as vigorous as the single-stemmed A. rupestris.

I recently got 2 small seedlings of the A. rupestris from IAS. I look forward to their maturity and observatio... read more


On Jan 7, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is reportedly one of the fastest tree aloes, so if you want a spectacular flowering tree aloe and can only get seed, this is the one you want they say. However, I certainly have not had that experience. In fact, of the tree aloes, this is a slow grower. I am not sure if the Aloe rupestris grown in this country is the same A rupestris growing in S Africa. That A rupestris is nearly always a solitary stemmed aloe, yet plants here in the US are nealy always suckering. I suspect there is someone else in the US A rupestris gene pool. The US A rupestris spends too much time and energy making pups to be a fast grower. Ends up being a huge mess of plants, which, if you want a nice landscape specimen, will need some trimming up at some point. It's a S African species where it is reknow... read more