Aloe mitriformis “Levis”
Aloe mitriformis is a synonym of Aloe perfoliata. This species name has other synonyms:
Aloe mitriformis var. albispina
Aloe mitriformis var. angustior
Aloe mitriformis var. commelyni
Aloe mitriformis var. elatior
Aloe mitriformis var. flavispina
Aloe mitriformis var. humilior
Aloe mitriformis var. pachyphylla
Aloe mitriformis var. spinosior
Aloe mitriformis var. spinulosa
Aloe mitriformis var. xanthacantha
Aloe perfoliata var. brevifolia
Aloe perfoliata var. mitriformi
Aloe Mitriformis is from South Africa, in particularly from Northern and Western Cape province, from near Genadendal in the south to the Bokkeveld Mountains near Nieuwoudtville in the north. Its preferred environment are the mountains, at an height of 1000-1200 meters upon sea level. It grows on sandy, acid soils, with low humus level. It can be found on vertical cliffs or in rocky, flat mountain places. Aloe mitriformis is not threatened with extinction, being widespread in all the mountain areas of Western Cape.
Aloe mitriformis has a long, creeping stem, sometimes branched. The plant tend to develop in extension, more than in height: their stems, prostrates, can reach the lenght of 2 meters: Aloe mitriformis occurs more often in groups, than in isolated individuals. On the top of the stems there are the rosettes of leaves, which are erect. The leaves are blue-green: they are more blue if the plant is more exposed to sunlight, while if the plant is in shaded position, the leaves tend to become more dark green. Leaves’ margins are provided with yellowish teeth. Inflorescence are stems bearing dense racemes of red, tubular, 3-4 centimeters long flowers. In a single plant there can be 4-5 inflorescences. The blossoming period occurs in the Southern hemisphere summer, from December to February, so in the Northern hemispher it may occur from June to August.
The best way for Aloe mitriformis to be cultivated is in rocky gardens, in groups of 15-20 individuals, in hot climates, with a full exposure to sunlight. This plant is particularly fast-growing and it’s a groundcover. Soil should be rocky and well-draining. composed of one third of sand or pebbles, to prevent roots rotting. Also leaf rotting can occur, if you wet too much the leaves while watering and you water too much frequently. Watering can be almost completely suspended in winter (once a month it’s sufficient) and, in spring and summer, watering once or twice every two weeks is sufficient. Before each watering, it’s better to wait until the soil is completely dry. It can survive temperatures close to 0ºC but, to prevent damages, it better to protect it with shelters or a little greenhouse in winter.
The easiest way to propagate Aloes is to take off one of its many offsets, produced in spring, and put it to root in a river sand substrate.
Aloe-based products (and in particular Aloe Vera varieties) have been experiencing a period of intense commercial exploitation for some years, which is only partially justified by the actual plant properties. Morover, Aloe species are frequently cultivated as ornamental plants both in gardens and in pots because they are highly decorative and are valued by collectors of succulents.