Origin: Aloe brevifolia is a coastal species and grows
just north of Cape Agulhas, to the east of Cape Town (from Bredarsdorp
to the Riversdale area)
Habitat: In nature Aloe brevifolia gets
most of its rain in winter or summer (375 mm). Grows on koppies, rocky
ridges and slopes in clay in stony ground
Common Names include: Short leaf aloe
Etymology: Its Latin name means “short leaf”,
and this chubby little plant is quite compact as well as stemless.
Notes: This species is often
used in crosses since it's so durable and prolific.
Description: Aloe brevifolia is a compact,
stemlesss rosette succulent. It has a warty appearance and can get nice
and pink in the winter, it's however a variable plant. Forms compact
mounds up to 40 cm in diameter with10 or more rosettes.
Rosettes: Very compact 8-10 cm in diameter with leaves that build
up on each other to about 30cm tall. It suckers very close to 'mother'
Leaves: 6 cm long and 2 cm wide at base, pale waxy blue-green or
grey, fat, triangular, sharp toothed with little soft white teeth. The
spines can line the back of the leaves, but rarely on the front. In full
sun they take on tinges of purple and pink. The sap is clear.
Flowers: Bears typically tubular Aloe flowers, yellow to scarlet
in many shades. The inflorecence is unbranched 40 cm tall with a conical
Blooming season: March trough May.
Cultivation: Aloe brevifolia is considered a Dwarf
Aloe. Likes a very well drained soil in partial sun, but the leaves are
more colourful in full sun. It is one of the more cold and moisture
tolerant aloes. It can also took the rainy periods fine too without
becoming mushy and dying. Frost resistant, min temp -4 -7° C. Prefers
Uses: In warm climates it
can be massed for use as a ground cover, or used as a clump amongst
other plants. Because of its size it makes a excellent edging plant in
the dry garden. It also does well as a potted specimen.
Propagation: Seeds and
offsets. It is easily rooted in potting soil with warmth.