There are many types of Aloe plants in the world. This article shares some popular Aloe types with pictures for easy identification.
The most classic of all Aloe vera types is Aloe barbadensis, known as the common Aloe vera plant (AL-oh vair-uh). Barbadensis comes from the Mediterranean and Arabian Peninsula.
Aloe plants thrive in places with lots of natural light and scarce water supplies. Even in poor soil, different types of Aloe Vera can succeed where other foliage types might not.
- What Is The Origin of Aloe The Name?
- How Many Aloe Species Are There?
- How and Where to Use Aloe Types
- Varieties of Aloe
- Aloe Deltoideodonta – Aloe Rosii
- Aloe Humilis – Spider Aloe
- Aloe Aristata – Lace Aloe
- Aloe Ciliaris – Climbing Aloe
- Aloe Variegata – Partridge Breast Tiger Aloe
- Aloe Juvenna – Tiger Tooth Aloe
- Aloe Plicatilis – Fan Aloe
- Aloe Arborescens – Torch Aloe | Torch Plant | Candelabra Aloe
- Aloe Maculata – Soap Aloe
- Aloe Brevifolia – Short-Leaf Aloe
- Aloe Barberae – Tree Aloe
- Aloe Broomii – Snake Aloe
- Aloe Vaombe – Malagasy Tree Aloe
- Aloe Nobilis – Gold Tooth Aloe
- Spiral Aloe – Aloe Polyphylla
- Aloe Striata – Coral Aloe
- Aloe Squarrosa
- Aloe Blue Elf
- Aloe Cameronii – Red Aloe
- Aloe Marlothii – Mountain Aloe
- Aloe Ferox – Cape Aloe
- Aloe Africana
- Sunset Aloe – Aloe Dorotheae
- Aloe Plant FAQ
What Is The Origin of Aloe The Name?
The name ‘Aloe” has its roots in the Arabic word “Alloeh,” or “shiny bitter substance.” The substance refers to the fluid inside the Aloe leaf, known for its medicinal qualities.
People use Aloe gel to soothe minor burns and skin problems.
“Vera” translates to “true” in Latin. When translated, Aloe vera means “true aloe.”
The plant’s other common name, Barbados Aloe, may originate from the Caribbean island of the same name. Aloe has grown in Barbados after its introduction and cultivation during the 1840s.
How Many Aloe Species Are There?
The Aloe vera family links to hundreds of species within the Aloe genus and continues to grow worldwide.
NOTE: The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families at Kew, as of July 1, 2023 lists 620 accepted named Aloe species.
How and Where to Use Aloe Types
Most Aloe varieties are strong, durable plants and do not damage easily. This tough, adaptable succulent perennial grows well in tropical or semi-tropical climates.
Aloe vera varieties are adaptable. Its growth and use worldwide provide diversity with its cultivation.
Since many Aloe plant types grow anywhere, it’s often considered invasive. Most Aloe types have thick, fleshy, and pointed leaves with a rich shade of green.
Their flower clusters are tubular-shaped and come in many bright colors.
Aloe In Landscaping
Generally, Aloe is a low-maintenance plant. It prefers growing in warm, dry climates with well-drained soil types in direct sunlight or shade. Most aren’t suited for cold environments.
The varying hues of the Aloe’s leaves on the mother plant and the colorful blooms offer aesthetic variety in the landscape.
In early spring, erect flower spikes or spines of brightly colored flowers emerge. The flowers attract pollinators and sweet nectar-loving birds.
The Aloe is a wonderful plant for the landscape when displayed in a terracotta pot.
Aloe In Gardening
As a low-maintenance plant, Aloe stores water in its leaves and roots. It survives with minimal watering. Extra fertilizer supports even better growth.
Many people grow Aloe for instant access to its healing properties. It produces gel in its thick-fleshed leaves, often used for burns and hair issues.
Flowering Aloe in the succulent garden attract birds and insects for pollination.
If you care for Aloe in your home, keep it in a bright-light location with minimal water. Indoors the frigid winter weather will not affect its growth.
Varieties of Aloe
Many types of Aloe exist around the world. People revere them for their beauty and healing properties.
Below are the different types of aloe plants you can enjoy at home.
Aloe Deltoideodonta – Aloe Rosii
Aloe Deltoideodonta is an Aloe vera plant type found in south-central Madagascar. It has a distinct star-like shape, growing up to 12″ inches tall, with each leaf measuring up to 8″ inches.
The deltoideodonta Aloe survives with little water and thrives in shade or direct sunlight. The tubular flowers are orange-colored with white or green tips.
Aloe Humilis – Spider Aloe
Aloe Humilis is an “Aloe vera species” from the Eastern and Western capes of South Africa. It’s also known as the Spider Aloe or Hedgehog Aloe.
White spots and spiked bumps cover its thick, pointed, curved leaves, resembling a cactus.
When landscaping, keep Humuilis out of standing water. Amend its soil with sand and compost to preserve consistent drainage. As it blooms, remove the withered leaves or stems.
Aloe Aristata – Lace Aloe
Aloe Aristata originates from South Africa. It is known for its fleshy leaves covered in white bumps and hairs forming a rosette.
This dwarf Aloe is ideal for people with desert gardens since it grows best in dry soil with excellent drainage. Aristata is one of the different types of aloe plants grown for use indoors where the conditions suit their growth.
When cultivating Lace Aloe plants, water regularly until fully grown and ready to rely on the water inside its leaves. Keep Aristata in temperatures over 50° Fahrenheit to enjoy the orange flowers.
Aloe Ciliaris – Climbing Aloe
Aloe Ciliaris comes from South Africa and grows 8′ to 12′ feet tall. It grows in dry, drainable soil indoors or out in containers with full sun exposure.
It grows best in sand or gravel soil. Without proper soil drainage, it risks root rotting.
Due to its size, it’s best to trim ciliaris leaves during dormant seasons.
Aloe Variegata – Partridge Breast Tiger Aloe
Aloe Variegata originates from the Northern Cape of South Africa. It’s also known as the “partridge breast tiger Aloe” due to the white stripes covering its green leaves.
It grows in warm climates and can tolerate winter temperatures for annual flowering. Let the soil dry between regular waterings.
Aloe Juvenna – Tiger Tooth Aloe
Aloe Juvenna is a plant native to Kenya. Its cluster of triangular leaves has teeth in its seams. It stays erect and, eventually, arches. Aloe Juvenna requires little water and survives with sun and shade.
Due to its small size, it doesn’t need constant repotting. Prune old and withered leaves when they dry out. Although harmless to humans, it can harm dogs and cats if swallowed.
Aloe Juvenna and Aloe Plicatilis are a few examples of the many Aloe succulent types.
Related: More on Repotting Aloe Plants here
Aloe Plicatilis – Fan Aloe
Fan Aloe grows in areas with cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers. They have narrow, fan-shaped leaves.
During winter, give the plant direct sunlight. Move Plicatilis to partial shade during the summer to avoid burning in hot temperatures.
Aloe Arborescens – Torch Aloe | Torch Plant | Candelabra Aloe
Aloe Arborescens grow to resemble small trees growing to over 5′ feet tall. It can develop at sea level and on rocky cliff edges.
Arborescens come from various South African regions, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
Aloe Maculata – Soap Aloe
Aloe Maculata comes from Southern Africa. They’ve also naturalized throughout parts of Australia. The spike-covered leaves secrete a sap that acts like soap-like residue.
These sand-tolerant and drought-tolerant plants grow best in sunny conditions or partial shade.
Aloe Brevifolia – Short-Leaf Aloe
Aloe Brevifolia is a short, tooth-covered plant found in the Western Cape. Brevifolia grows slowly and in clumps, perfect for ground cover in gardens.
It has an active growth in autumn and spring and becomes dormant in summer and winter.
Aloe Barberae – Tree Aloe
Aloe Barberae a large tree native to South Africa, reaches up to 60′ feet in height and features deep green leaves lined with teeth along their seams.
It grows best in direct sunlight and tolerates temperatures between 60° to 70° degrees Fahrenheit.
The soil should dry between waterings and requires frequent watering during summer.
Aloe Broomii – Snake Aloe
Aloe broomii, or snake Aloe, is a unique and striking succulent. It is native to South Africa and has long, slender leaves that look like the shape of a snake. The bluish-green colored leaves and sharp and toothed edges are common in Aloe species.
Snake Aloe produces tall spikes of tubular orange-red flowers in the winter months. These blooms attract birds, bees, and other pollinators. This species of Aloe prefers well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade.
When grown outside USDA hardiness zones 9-11, water this drought-tolerant plant sparingly.
Aloe Vaombe – Malagasy Tree Aloe
Aloe Vaombe is a showy evergreen succulent with a rosette of arched, long, and dangling leaves.
The leaves are dark green, fleshy, and smooth, with white teeth-like thorns on their curved edges. Vaombe has a high drought tolerance.
Aloe Nobilis – Gold Tooth Aloe
Aloe Nobilis grows its leaves as a tight and layered rosette. The tips of its leaves have teeth-like structures and grow to about one foot.
They can thrive in direct sunlight and shade. During growth, add water to the soil and avoid the rosette to prevent damage to the plant.
It does not need excessive pruning. For propagation, collect its seeds or leaf cuttings.
Spiral Aloe – Aloe Polyphylla
Aloe Polyphylla originates from the Maluti Mountains. It’s known for having leaves that form a spiral shape.
These plants can tolerate colder temperatures down to 20° degrees Fahrenheit and do not grow well indoors. Due to its shallow roots, feed it with liquid fertilizer to well-drained soil.
Aloe Striata – Coral Aloe
Aloe Striata, or coral Aloe, has leaves with faint stripes and bright red flowers. Striata is perfect for adding color to flower pots or gardens.
Its leaves are smooth in texture. It grows best in sandy or gravelly potting mix with direct sunlight. Coral Aloe requires little water and fertilizer added once a month.
The slow-growing Aloe Squarrosa plant ddoes not do well indoors. The big attraction is its foliage. It is far showier than Aloe vera.
Squarrosa Aloe is highly sensitive to rot and frost. Having low humidity and the proper temperatures is essential.
Aloe Blue Elf
Aloe Blue Elf is a popular, attractive landscape, Aloe. This dwarf grows from 6″ inch rosettes of blue-green leaves to a height and width of 2′ feet.
The Aloe Blue Elf has a compact growth habit and demands little care and attention under the right conditions.
Aloe Cameronii – Red Aloe
Aloe Cameronii originates from Zimbabwe and Malawi. It grows slowly and can live up to 40 years with proper care.
It has narrow and sharp leaves with a bright red color. Unlike some Aloe, Red Aloe survives in hot and dry or cold and humid seasons.
Aloe Marlothii – Mountain Aloe
Aloe marlothii grows in the rocky, mountainous regions of South Africa. It grows to a height of 8′ to 10′ feet.
It has a dense rosette of fleshy, grayish-green to blue-green leaves ending with a sharp point. The leaf edges have reddish-brown spines.
During its growing season, keep the plant watered. During winter, reduce watering. The Mountain Aloe produces orange to red flowers from fall to winter.
The Zulu used Mountain Aloe for treating roundworm and stomach problems.
Aloe Ferox – Cape Aloe
Aloe Ferox, also known as bitter Aloe or cape Aloe, is a plant native to Southern Africa. It grows in grassy and rocky areas.
Ferox thrives in temperatures ranging from 55° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit. It grows best in artificial or indirect light.
Cape Aloe produces no scent and contains bitter fluids valued by people for its purgative properties as a topical medicine and laxative.
Aloe Africana is a hardy perennial from South Africa. On the margins, the leaves have small, sharp reddish teeth. The reddish-orange buds of the African Aloe blooms are the real show. The blooms change color as they open.
African Aloe prefers full sunlight but tolerates partial shade for part of the day.
Sunset Aloe – Aloe Dorotheae
Aloe Dorotheae is native to Tanzania. It is known for its red coloring resulting from full sun exposure. Its decorative appeal makes it useful for ground cover.
It needs moderate watering during the growing season and less when dormant or mature.
Sunset Aloe flowers produce nectar for birds and insects and act as a deer-resistant plant.
Aloe Plant FAQ
What Type of Plant is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a succulent plant species from the genus Aloe. It originates from the Arabian Peninsula. It is known for its medicinal properties, especially its gel. Beauty creams and lotions utilize the gel. This xerophytic perennial plant is grown worldwide for both agricultural and medicinal purposes.
Do Aloe Plants Flower?
Aloe plants flower at certain times of the year, particularly in tropical climates and USDA hardiness zones 9-11. Below is a listing from the book “Aloes of South Africa” and the flower times of many species.
|Species||Flowering Period||Species||Flowering Period|
|A. aculeata||May – June||A. lineata||Jan – Feb|
|A. affinis||May||A. longibracteata||July|
|A. africana||July – August||A. longistyla||Early August|
|A. albida||Late March – April||A. lutescens||June – July|
|A. ammophila||Early March||A. Marlotlhii||June – July – Aug|
|A. Angelica||June||A. melanacantha||June|
|A. arborescens||May – June||A. microcantha||Jan -Feb|
|A. arenicola||July – December||A. microstigma||May – July|
|A. aristata||November||A. minima||February|
|A. asperifolia||April May||A. mitriformis||Jan – Feb|
|A. Bainesii||June||A. mudenensis||July|
|A. barbertoniae||June – July||A. mutabilis||June – July|
|A. Boylei||Dec – Jan||A. mutans||June – July|
|A. branddraaiensis||July||A. myriacantha||Early March|
|A. brevifolia||November||A. nubigena||Dec – Feb|
|A. Broomii||September||A. pachygaster||May – Aug|
|A. burgersfortensis||July||A. parvibracteata||July|
|A. candelabrum||June – July||A. parviflora||February|
|A. castanea||July – Aug||A. Pearsonii||January|
|A. Chabaudii||July||A. Peglerae||July – Aug|
|A. chimanimaniensis||June||A. petricola||July|
|A. chorlolirioides||July – Aug||A. petrophila||May|
|A. Christianii||June – July||A. Pillansii||October|
|A. ciliaris||Most of the year||A. plicatilis||Aug – Sept|
|A. claviflora||Aug – Sept||A. pluridens||May|
|A. commixta||Sept – Nov||A. polyphylla||Aug – Oct|
|A. comosa||December||A. pratensis||September|
|A. Comptonii||Oct – Dec||A. pretoriensis||May|
|A. Cooperi||Dec – Jan||A. pruinosa||Feb – March|
|A. cryptopoda||May – July||A. ramosissima||June|
|A. Davyana||July||A. recurvifolia||July – Aug|
|A. deWetii||March||A. Reitzii||February|
|A. dichotoma||June||A. Reynoldsii||Aug – Sept|
|A. Dinteri||Jan – Feb||A. rubrolutea||February|
|A. distans||December||A. rupestris||September|
|A. dolomitica||August||A. saponaria||July and Jan|
|A. dominella||Oct – Feb||A. Saundersiae||Feb- March|
|A. Dyeri||Early March||A. sessiliflora||July – Aug|
|A. Ecklonis||Dec – Jan||A. Simii||Feb – March|
|A. falcata||December||A. Sladeniana||Dec – Jan|
|A. ferox||May – Oct||A. speciosa||August|
|A. Fosteri||Late March||A. spectabilis||July|
|A. Framesii||June – July||A. striata||Aug – Sept|
|A. gariepensis||July||A. striatula||December|
|A. Gerstneri||March||A. succotrina||June|
|A. glauca||September||A. suffulta||June – July|
|A. globuligemma||July – Aug||A. suprafoliata||May|
|A. graciliflora||Sept – Nov||A. tenuior||Nov – Jan|
|A. gracilis||June||A. Thompsoniae||Dec – Jan|
|A. grandidentata||Aug – Sept||A. Thorncroftii||September|
|A. Greatheadii||June – July||A. Thraskii||Early July|
|A. Greenii||March||A. Tidmarshi||Nov- April|
|A. haemanthifolia||October||A. transvaalensis||Late February|
|A. hereroensis||July – Aug||A. umfoloziensis||June – July|
|A. hlangapies||November||A. Vanbalenii||June|
|A. humilis||September||A. Vandermerwei||February|
|A. immaculata||June||A. variegata||Aug – Sept|
|A. integra||Oct – Nov||A. Verdoorniae||July|
|A. karasbergensis||Jan – Feb||A. verecunda||Nov – Dec|
|A. Keithii||July||A. viridiflora||September|
|A. khamiesensis||June||A. Vogtsii||Feb – March|
|A. kniphofioides||Oct – Nov||A. Vossii||Feb – March|
|A. komatiensis||March||A. vryheidensis||July|
|A. Krapohliana||July||A. Wickensii||June – July|
|A. Kraussii||December||A. Woolliana||Irregular|
|A. Lettyae||February||A. zebrina||Feb – March|