Aloe brevifolia

Botanical name

Aloe brevifolia

Other names

Kleinaalwyn (Afrikaans)




A small, stemless aloe tending to form clumps of about 10 neat and compact rosettes (about 15 cm in diameter) through multiple offshoots; the plant in flower may exceed 30 cm in height; sometimes referred to as a dwarf aloe

Description of stem


Description of leaves

Light green, grey-green to blue-green with light coloured marginal teeth and pink leaf edges; some scattered spines and white spots on the outer (lower) surface or in a keel row

Description of flowers

Single racemes with red or orange flowers that emerge from prominent bracts during the bud phase; buds tend to cling vertically to the stem until they lose their initial green colouring; flowering occurs during spring, but may in cultivation flower for much longer, sometimes almost all the year round

Desciption of seed/fruit


Description of roots



Differences are reported between the specimens originating from the Swellendam and Caledon areas in terms of rosette size and spots on leaves; the variations brevifolia, depressa and postgenita are reported

Propagation and cultivation

Well-drained soil in half to full sunlight; easy to transplant young offshoots or to grow from seed




Garden plant, sometimes in clumps as a ground cover outside or in a pot as a houseplant (in good light, preferably sun)

Ecological rarity

Not threatened

Pests and diseases



This aloe tends to hybridise readily with several other species; comments have been found relating to the specimens in nature being more variable than the commonly multiplied garden ones


Clay soil and stony areas on hillsides

Distribution (SA provinces)

Western Cape


South Africa


Aloe brevifolia: Photographed by Johannes Vogel

Aloe brevifolia: Photographed by Jack Latti