Aloe reynoldsii is an endemic species from South Africa, wher it can be found only along the Mbashe River in Idutywa, Eastern Cape, in high-humidity areas. Its habitat are southeast-facing cliffs, at an altitude of 300-600 meters above sea level. Its ecoregion is the Eastern valley Bushveld.
Aloe reynoldsii is a stemmed perennial rare succulent that usually forms groups of 5-20 plants. The stem has a diameter of 5 centimeters and can arise to 10-15 centimeters, and rebranches to form new clumps. It is usually covered of dry leaves, which don’t detach from the stem. The leaves are green with white spots on both surfaces. They are smooth, not spined, and they have a particular crenulate margin, which is white and red. They are 10 centimeters wide and 35 centimeters long, more or less. The inflorescence, unlike most Aloes, is not a raceme (which is like a cluster of flowers), but it’s a panicle. A panicle is an inflorescence that reminds an umbrella for its shape, because the flowers are almost on the same layer (which is curved like an umbrella). The flowers are yellow. The blooming season goes from August to October
Aloe reynoldsi can be cultivated either in pots, inside, or outside, in rocky gardens, in a partially shaded position: better if the plant receives sunlight during the morning and it’s shaded in the afternoon. Aloe reynoldsii requires a well-drained sandy soil. Pay attention not to wet the leaves while watering, because they are also sensitive to rotting. Watering can be almost completely suspended in winter. In summer, water once a week if it’s particularly hot, once every two weeks with a normal weather. Before each watering, it’s better to wait until the soil is completely dry. Aloe reynoldsii can survive to temperatures around 0ºC, but doesn’t resist to frosts, so you should protect it somehow in winter.
Propagation can be done either by sowing, or by stem cutting. The seed have to be sown in river sand during a warm season, and the system should be kept moist until the seeds germinate. For stem cutting, cut a stem with a sharp knife, put it to dry for a couple of days and then put it to root in a sandy medium, keeping it moist (not wet unless it rots).
The name Aloe comes from the Arabic word “aluat” , which means “bitter thing” because of the bitter juice of its leaves. Plants of this genus are also called “stick of heaven”, “gift of Venus”, “plants of immortality”, “silent healer”, “doctor in a jar” because of their many beneficial detoxifying and disinfecting properties, which help to heal wounds and burns.