Aloe mitriformis


Aloe albispina
Aloe brevifolia
Aloe commelyni
Aloe commelyni var. flavispina
Aloe commelyni var. pachyphylla
Aloe commelyni var. spinulosa
Aloe commelyni var. xanthacantha
Aloe depressa
Aloe flavispina
Aloe mitraeformis
Aloe mitraeformis
Aloe mitriformis Mill.
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. humilior
Aloe mitriformis var. pachyphylla
Aloe mitriformis var. spinosior
Aloe mitriformis var. spinulosa
Aloe mitriformis var. xanthacantha
Aloe parvispina
Aloe perfoliata var. brevifolia
Aloe perfoliata var. mitriformis
Aloe reflexa
Aloe spinulosa
Aloe xanthacantha


Aloe mitriformis (formerly known as Aloe perfoliata) is native to the Western and Northern Cape regions of South Africa, stretching from near Genadendal in the south to the Bokkeveld Mountains near Nieuwoudtville in the north.
This species thrives in mountainous areas with a winter rainfall pattern, specifically at altitudes ranging from 1200 to 1500 meters. You can typically find these plants nestled among rocky terrains of sandstone slabs and granite outcrops, along with rocky ridges and lower slopes. In their natural environment, Aloe mitriformis displays an intriguing growth pattern. Rather than growing upright, they tend to sprawl and creep, with stems extending up to 2 meters in length. These stems often have additional side shoots along their way. The plants typically lie close to the ground, with only the terminal section, which bears leaves, standing erect. They are commonly observed growing in clusters and may even extend downwards along vertical cliffs.


Aloe mitriformis is a robust succulent that forms clusters of rosettes in small groups. These plants sprawl along the ground, with their tips pointing upwards and covered in leaves. It’s a hardy plant, but it comes in various forms, making it a bit tricky to distinguish from other creeping aloes.
The stems are relatively thin and not sturdy enough to hold the large rosettes upright. The leaves are short, broad, and have a fleshy texture. They are a bluish-green color. These leaves are arranged in circular attachments and can spread out straight or curve inwards. If the plant is in full sun, the leaves tend to have a bluish hue, while those in shadier areas appear darker green. Exposed plants have tightly arranged leaves compared to those in the shade. Most leaves don’t have spots or lines, but the edges are lined with small, harmless white teeth. These teeth turn yellow to dark brown as the leaves age. The leaves slightly curve inwards, and the spines on the edges have variable colors, which seem to be consistent features of this species.
The flowers are a subdued scarlet to a bright red. They’re densely packed in short clusters on branched stems, and they droop. At times, there can be up to five flowering branches at once. The shape of the clusters can range from cone-shaped to head-shaped or rounded.
This plant typically flowers in the summer months. As for the fruits, they’re capsules that grow rapidly and split into three parts by the end of summer. The seeds are small, up to 4 mm, and have slight wings, which allows them to be dispersed by the wind.


This plant, commonly encountered and often grown without a specific name, is quite resilient and doesn’t pose many cultivation challenges. It’s known for its speedy growth and adaptability. For optimal coloration of its attractive leaves and overall flourishing, it’s best to provide full sun, although it can also tolerate some light shade. During its active growth period, it appreciates regular watering. It thrives in mild to hot summer climates and can withstand some cold and even occasional snow during the rainy season. However, severe frosts can cause damage, particularly to the tips of the leaves, which can be affected at temperatures below -2°C.
When planting, choose light, fertile, well-drained soils with a slightly acidic pH level (around 5-6). This plant can be placed in rock gardens or flower pots, and it’s suitable for coastal planting as well.
A distinctive trait of this species is its prolific suckering, which means one plant can eventually cover a large area. Despite its toughness, it can show signs of stress, indicated by a reddish coloration of the leaves, if it goes without water for extended periods. To maintain the plant’s vitality, it’s recommended to remove old flower stalks and periodically divide crowded clumps. In the winter months, exposing the plant to cooler temperatures (around 5-10°C) can encourage flower development.


You can propagate this plant in a few different ways. One method is by dividing the offshoots that form around the outer edge of the main rosette in the spring. Another effective way is through seed propagation. For the best results, stem cuttings are often preferred. After cutting, allow them to dry for a few days before inserting them into river sand. Keep the sand consistently moist. Roots should start to appear after approximately two weeks. If you’re using seeds, it’s best to sow them while they’re fresh. Fresh seeds tend to germinate rapidly at a temperature of around 18°C.


The species name “Mitriformis” probably refers to the fact that this species belong to the gropu of creeping aloes, the “Mitriformes”.

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