Succulent Plant Site | Aloes of the World | Creeping Aloes

Aloe arenicola


It is difficult to confuse Aloe arenicola with other Aloe species due to the shape and markings that are present on both the leaf surfaces.

'arenicola' means 'sand dweller' and this refers to the habitat of the plant.

Common Names: Bont-Ot'korrie, Sand-Aalwyn (Sand Aloe)
Status: Vulnerable due to mining activities and overgrazing.
Distribution: Aloe arenicola occurs in arid areas in the Northern Cape of South Africa.   This aloe can be found on the sandy coastal belt from Lamberts Bay to the Orange River mouth.  It grows in the winter rainfall areas with an annual rainfall of between 105 mm - 250 mm.  In times of drought Aloe arenicola is capable of surviving from the moisture obtained from the mists and fog coming off of the ocean.
Description of Aloe :

Numerous rosettes are formed on procumbent stems that can reach up to 70cm in height. Only the top 200mm of the stems bear leaves.


Juvenile plants have small, succulent leaves that are triangular in shape, leaf surfaces are marked with white spots, internodes are further apart in young plants.

Mature plants have narrow and upturned leaves that are 200mm in length, leaf surfaces are smooth and marked with numerous white spots. Leaf margins are armed with tiny white teeth.

Flower: Description
Inflorescence: Head-shaped racemes are borne from the rosettes on a simple inflorescence which may occasionally branch.
Flower: Flowers are a pale-red colour with the mouth opeings a yellow colour.
Flowering Time: Flowering occurs from July to December.
Cultivation of :
Light: Full sun.
Watering: Careful wtering required especially in the summer months as Aloe arenicola occurs in a winter ranfall area.
Frost Protection: Required.

Aloe arenicola is very difficult to grow well in cultivation, it is susceptible to rot from overwatering.

A well drained soil is required, I use the following type of mix for Aloes that I grow in pots;

  1. 2 parts coarse sand.
  2. 1 Part well sieved compost.
  3. 2 parts washed sand (from the garden).

If planted in a bed make sure the soil does not stay wet for more than a day or two.

Post your tips and ideas at the forum.


Reference: Guide to Aloes of Southern Africa.

Picture: Aloe arenicola in habitat to the south of Kleinzee.

Aloe arenicola, creeping aloe, photographed in habitat to the south of Kleinzee in restricted diamond mining area.

Picture: Aloe arenicola in habitat to the west of Kleinzee.

Aloe arenicola in habitat

Photographer: Leander Van Wyk.

Picture: Aloe areincola inflorescence and raceme.

Aloe arenicola inflorescence and raceme

Photographer: Leander Van Wyk.

Picture: Aloe arenicola rosette

Aloe arenicola rosette

Photographer: Leander Van Wyk

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