Alligator Plant - Knowledgebase Question

Lake City, FL
Avatar for Kirkland_H
Question by Kirkland_H
March 21, 1998
We have a plant everyone calls an alligator plant. I don't know if it is tropical but the cold will kill it but it puts back out. The dark green leaves have thorns on them and they resemble an alligator or crocodile. The cold didn't kill it this year and it bloomed. It took a long time but a pink, multi-flower cluster grew out of the top of each stalk/cane. The plant branches out from the bottom. New plants will come up from the roots. We would like to know more about this beautiful and unusual plant. It was given to my husband many years ago. This was the first year it bloomed. Thank you!

Answer from NGA
March 21, 1998
I believe what yor are describing is an aloe. There are several varieties:

Aloe variegata also known as Partridge Breast. Rosette shaped with leaves that are pointed and thick. Grows from 8 to 12 inches high. Leaves are dark green with markings such as an aligator would have.

Aloe Vera - Similar to aloe variegata, but no markings and
leaves are not quite as dark. Also known as burn plant.
Leaves contain sap said to heal burns and other skin
problems. Grows to 2 feet high.

Aloe mitriformis - Similar to Aloe vera and grows to 18 inches high.

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