Botanical Name: Aloiampelos tenuior
*Aloe tenuior Haw.
*Aloe tenuior var. glaucescens Zahlbr.
*Aloe tenuior var. decidua Reynolds
*Aloe tenuior var. rubriflora Reynolds
*Aloe tenuior var. densiflora Reynolds
*Aloe tenuior var. viridifolia van Jaarsv.
Common Names: fence aloe, slender aloe (Eng.); heiningaalwyn (Afr.); ikhalana, ikalene, intelezi, impapane, umjinqa, umkrakrane (isiXhosa); inhlaba, inhlaba empofu (isiZulu)
Habitat: Aloiampelos tenuior is native to the grasslands and thickets of the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga, South Africa. Its preferred habitat is sandy soils in open country, unlike many of its relatives that favour thicket vegetation. It is one of the most profusely flowering of all aloes and their relatives
Aloiampelos tenuior is a small to medium-sized, sprawling, bushy shrublet, with a large woody rootstock. It has slender, branching, semi-woody stems, up to 3 m long, that grow upright, but as they grow longer, they tend to need support from surrounding shrubs to remain erect. In time, the plant develops into a mass of intertwined stems, up to about 1.5 m tall with a spread of up to 1.8 m. The leaves are thin to slightly fleshy, blue-green (glaucous), unspotted, and are crowded in lax rosettes at the ends of branches. The leaf margins have small teeth.The leaves have a distinctive greyish-green colour and the leaf margins have tiny white teeth.
Like all species in the genus, flowers are borne on slender racemes and are usually bright yellow (although there are red-flowered forms, sometimes called var. rubriflora).
Aloiampelos tenuior flowers throughout the year, but especially in winter, and the small flowers appear on thin, un-branched racemes.
Aloiampelos tenuior is an extremely variable species. The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) does not recognize any varieties, treating them all as synonyms of the species. Varieties recognized by some sources include:
*A. tenuior var. tenuior
*A. tenuior var. viridifolia (the Green-leaf Fence Aloe) restricted to the Suurberg Shale Fynbos, near Addo Elephant Park, north of Port Elizabeth. The smallest variety, with smooth, green leaves.
*A. tenuior var. glaucescens (the blue fence aloe), type: Kei River, Eastern Cape.
*A. tenuior var. densiflora (the dense-flowered fence aloe), type: Breakfast Vlei, Eastern Cape
*A. tenuior var. rubriflora (the red-flowered fence aloe) of Pondoland, type: Mlengana, Eastern Cape. The largest variety.
*A. tenuior var. decidua (the deciduous fence aloe), type: Alice, Eastern Cape. A small, erect, deciduous variety.
Aloiampelos tenuior grows best in well-drained soil enriched with compost, and while it can withstand dry conditions, it will perform better with regular watering. It needs a position in full sun, or one that receives sun for most of the day. Although it will grow in the shade, it will not flower. It needs protection from frost, but should withstand light frosts.
With its long flowering season and free-flowering habit in cultivation, it is a showy garden plant and a useful landscaping plant. It is well suited to rockeries, retaining walls, terraces and embankments, as well as mixed beds and borders; can be or planted en masse to cover a large area, and it can be encouraged to climb up fences and trellises, but it will need to be supported. It is also suitable for containers.
Aloes are prone to a number of diseases and pests, the commonest of which are white scale and the aloe snout beetle. These can be treated with the appropriate insecticides
Propagation: Aloiampelos tenuior grows easily from stem cuttings which should be allowed to dry for a few days and then can be rooted in well-drained potting soil or planted directly into the garden and kept moist, but not wet. There is no need for bottom heat, misting or rooting hormone.
These leaves are a traditional remedy for tapeworm.
Other Uses: Ornamental, mainly grown for its flowers but also for foliage interest. It is a useful and undemanding landscape plant. It was previously called Aloe tenuior.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.