Aloe aristata Haworth


Aloe aristata, commonly called serelei, meaning the slippery one, also lace aloe and torch plant, is frequently mistaken for a Haworthia when not in bloom. It is one of a group called dwarf aloes which have extremely small rosettes of usually incurved leaves. 'Aristata' means 'awned,' referring to the tips of the leaves, but in this it is not much different from many aloes. The leaf surfaces are marked by small white tuberculate bumps and the leaf margins are armed by soft white teeth. This species typically produces flowers in the month of November, and its range includes the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa, the Orange Free State (now just called Free State), Lesotho, and KwaZulu-Natal. They are stemless and usually occur in groups of up to a dozen or so rosettes. The inflorescences are branched and the flowers are a dull red to pinkish, tubular in shape and curved downwards.