Aloe arborescens Miller


Aloe arborescens, commonly called krantz aloe in English and kransaalwyn in Afrikaans, is a large treelike multi-headed succulent shrub growing to some 9'-10' tall. It is synonymous with Aloe mutabilis and Aloe perfoliata. Its range includes South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and it prefers habitat of bush and open forest, and also exposed ridges and rocky outcrops of the higher mountains. It is one of the few aloes whose range extends from sea level to mountain tops. The leaves are green and slightly concave, the margins are armed with teeth, and the rosettes are situated at the branch ends. Each rosette can produce terminal racemes of cylindrical orange to red flowers. Krantz aloe blooms in the cold winter months of May to July. 'Arborescens' means tree-like, which it really isn't, but was meant to allude to its stem-forming character. The common name krantz aloe refers to a krantz, which is a rocky ridge or cliff. The PlantzAfrica website says that this is possibly the most widely cultivated aloe in the world, and is next only to Aloe vera in its healing and medicinal qualities.