Aloe aculeata is native of the regions of Highveld, Limpopo valley and Mpumalanga in South Africa, being widespread also in southern and central Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It grows on rocky outcrops in grasslands.
Aloe aculeata is an herbaceous, succulent, stemless plant belonging to the family of Asphodelaceae. It can become from 30 to 60 centimeters tall. Leaves are also 25 to 60 centimeters long, green to pale blue-glaucous, with many dark brownish prickles on both sides, especially on the lower side (this is the reason of the name “aculeata”). Each prickle originates from a thick base, lighter-coloured than the rest of the leaf, giving to the whole leaf a dotted appearance. Leaves’ margin have reddish-brown triangular teeth. The inflorescence is an erect, linear, very dense, 2-4 branched raceme. It actually looks like a long ear, bearing red and yellow flowers. Usually the yellow ones are on the base of the ear and the red ones are upon the rest of it. Blossoming time goes from June to August.
Aloe aculeata needs a well-drained substrate to grow, and a bright position under direct sunlight. It is sensitive to low temperatures, so it’s generally better to keep it indoors in winter. Water it abudantly in the growth season, but wait always until the soil dries up completely before each watering. In winter, watering can be completely suspended as the plant stops growing or grows really slowly. Pay attention to the leaves while watering: wet leaves can easily rot. Aloe aculeata grows really fast, so it’s necessary to repot it each year.
Aloe aculeata doesn’t produce offsets, so propagation is only possible by seeds.
Aloe aculeata has not any specifical use, but almost all the plants of the Aloe genus produce gel and latex, which are rich in medicinal properties.