Aloe cryptopoda

Botanical name

Aloe cryptopoda

Other names

Geelaalwyn (Afrikaans); aloe wickensii




Stemless; single, large rosette, often 70 cm tall

Description of stem

Absent to closely so

Description of leaves

Narrow, erect, green or greyish green, sometimes with broad banding across the leaf; smooth leaf surfaces with small, red-brown teeth only on the edges

Description of flowers

A few branched inflorescences may emerge from the same rosette, about 1,5 m tall; some plants have racemes that are longer, narrower, conical and monocoloured red, orange or yellow; others are shorter and bicoloured as the perianths start off red, turning yellow upon opening as in A. lutescens; this bicolour variation used to be called A. wickensii in the past

Description of seed/fruit


Description of roots



Some of the plants will flower before the normal winter flowering period, as early as February; a somewhat confusing variety of flower forms exists

Propagation and cultivation

Transplants easily and grows readily from seed; slow-growing


Part to full sun; tolerates different watering patterns, e.g. some watering in  winter or even very little water throughout the year


A popular garden plant, good in dry garden areas or for 'xeriscaping'

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases



Cryptopoda means hidden foot


Grassland and rocky patches

Distribution (SA provinces)

North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, but generally to the south of where A. lutescens is normally found, although there are Zimbabwean recordings of the plant being indigenous there as well


South Africa, Zimbabwe