Succulent Plant Site | Aloes of the World

Aloes of the World

Aloes are found from Arabia in the North to Madagascar in the East and Southern Africa in the South. Gilbert Westacott Reynolds documented over 300 species of aloes (about 170 species are found in South Africa). Aloes occur naturally only in Africa, in Mexico, where Aloe vera escaped from cultivation, it has been naturalised.

Aloes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the small grass aloes to the huge A. dichotoma and A. pillansii. Aloes are well adapted for harsh climates and they can survive in mountains, grasslands, deserts and on beaches . Both the spiky leaves and the bitter tasting sap prevents animals and insects from eating it. The waxy leaves have sunken pores which prevents water loss. The downward angled flowers are borne on a simple or multi-branched inflorescence. One of the genus' weakness is a poorly developed root system. Aloes propgate by seeds that are designed for wind dispersal and some species have a high degree of vegetative propagation (they offset quite easily).

Aloes are well known succulents, not just for their beauty but for their medicinal properties as well. You could find aloe vera in skin-care products, hair shampoo, vitamins and supplements.

Growing Aloes in cultivation can be rewarding especially when they are in flower, which is a spectacular display in any garden.

Aloes, especially Aloe vera can be found in many vitamins and supplements.

Aloes of Southern Africa I use the book "Guide to Aloes of Southern Africa" by Ben-Erik van Wyk & Gideon Smith as a reference quite often. If you are a Aloe enthusiast and you don't have this book I highly recommend it.

Creeping Aloes : Ground hugging aloes, stems absent or indistinct, dull greenish leaf colour, summer flowering, inflorescences appear to form a crown.

A. arenicola, A. comptonii, A. dabenorisana, A. distans, A. meyeri, A. mitriformis, A. pearsonii.


Dwarf Aloes : Clumping plants with small rosettes, rarely solitary, leaves narrow, incurved with smll white tubercles present.

A. aristata, A. bowiea, A. brevifolia, A. humilis. A. longistyla, A. variegata

Rambling Aloes that can be in Southern AfricaS

Rambling Aloes : Aloes in this group all have stems that are thin and slender, plants have leaves that are on average a little more fleshy than other Aloes, sheathing portions of leaves are usually striped, racemes short with a few flowers that are variable in size.

A. ciliaris, A. commixta, A. gracilis, A. striatula, A.tenuior


Speckled Aloes : Closely related aloe species, plants must have a stem, plants can be single or multistemmed, spots must be present on upper and lower leaf surfaces, plants have a western distribution pattern.

A.framessii, A. gariepensis, A. khamiesensis, A. microstigma, A. pictifolia.

Single stemmed aloe group.

Single Stemmed Aloes : Single erect main stem, solitary rosette with numerous large leaves, trunk is covered with the remains of old dried leaves, spectacular flowers.

A. africana, A. alooides, A.angelica, A. comosa, A. excelsa, A. ferox, A. lineata, A. littoralis, A. marlothii, A. pluridens, A. pretoriensis, A. rupestris, A. speciosa, A. thraskii, A.vryheidensis


Stemless Aloes : Short or nonexistent stems, leaf rosettes are close to the ground, simple inflorescence that may occasionally branch.

A. aculeata, A. broomii, A. buhrii, A. chabaudii, A. chlorantha, A. cryptopoda, A. gerstneri, A. glauca, A. globuligemma, A. haemanthifolia, A. herreroensis, A. krapohliana, A. lutescens, A. melanacantha, A. peglerae, A. petricola, A. polyphylla, A. pratensis, A. reitzii, A. reynoldsii, A. striata, A. suprafoliata, A. thorncroftii



Tree Aloes

Tree Aloes : Tree-like appearance, trunk with side-branches, leaves form a rosette and the dead leaves are not persistent.

A. berberae, A. dichotoma, A. pillansii, A. plicatilis, A. ramosissima.



Aloe boylei, grass aloe

Grass Aloes : Largely a stemless group with long narrow leaves that are slightly succulent leaves. Inflorescence is single with a rounded raceme of white to red flowers.

A. Abida,A. boylei, A. chortolirioides, A. cooperi, A. dominella, A. eckloniss, A. fouriei, A. hlangapies, A. inconspica. A. integra, A. kniphofioides, A. kraussii, A. linearifolia, A. micracantha, A. minima, A. modesta, A. myriacantha, A. nubigena, A. parvifolia, A. saundersiae, A. soutpansbergensis, A. thompsoniae, A. verecunda, A. vossii



Aloe affinis - affinis means "related to" or "resembling". Aloe affinis was given the specie name affinis due to it resembling Aloe immaculata.

Aloe andongensis - Medium to small aloe specie from Angola.

Aloe antandroi - Small rambling Aloe rom Madagascar.

Aloe burgerfortensis

Aloe camperi

Aloe striata ssp karasbergensis


Aloe spp



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