Aloe lutescens

Botanical name

Aloe lutescens

Other names





Classified as a stemless aloe that grows in groups with comparatively large, erect rosettes

Description of stem

Very short, cannot support the heavy rosette off the ground, so the stem, usually not visible during casual observation, is positioned sideways, horizontally

Description of leaves

Narrow, erect leaves with the tips curved inwards, varying in colour between light green and a yellowish green; small sharp teeth occur only on the leaf edges, with both surfaces being smooth

Description of flowers

Usually up to three racemes per inflorescence, appearing in winter; the buds are dark red on the conically shaped raceme, but the open perianth has turned light yellow and by then characteristically hanging down

Desciption of seed/fruit

Fleshy green capsules

Description of roots

More likely to make suckers and form clusters than A. cryptopoda



Propagation and cultivation

Transplants without difficulty, seeds germinate easily; half-day sun preferable; slow-growing


Will withstand periodic drought


A popular and rewarding garden plant

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases

May rot in too shady and over-watered conditions 


Resembles aloe cryptopoda, the flowers similar to the bicolour variation of A. cryptopoda that used to be called Aloe wickensii; has shorter and broader racemes, with the mouth of the perianth upturned; lutescens means 'becoming yellow'


Rocky slopes and grassland in full sun or semi-shade

Distribution (SA provinces)

Limpopo Province; Mpumalanga


South Africa; Botswana

Photographed by Dorette Potgieter in Gauteng

Photographed by Ricky Mauer during August