Aloe arborescens is a large multi-headed sprawling succulent, its specific name indicating that it sometimes reaches tree size. Typical height for this species 2–3 metres high. Its leaves are succulent and are green with a slight blue tint. Its leaves are armed with small spikes along its edges and are arranged in rosettes situated at the end of branches. Flowers are arranged in a type of inflorescence called a raceme. The racemes are not branched but two to several can sprout from each rosette. Flowers are cylindrical in shape and are a vibrant red/orange colour.
The plant is endemic to the south eastern part of Southern Africa. Specifically, this range includes the countries of South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It has the third largest distribution amongst the aloe genus. Although Aloe arborescens has adapted to many different habitats, its natural habitat usually consists of mountainous areas including rocky outcrops and exposed ridges. Its common name krantz aloe refers to the Afrikaans word "krantz", which means a rocky cliff. Its habitat can vary and is one of only a few species of aloe that is found growing from sea level up to the tops of mountains.
Aloe arborescens is valued by gardeners for its architectural qualities, its succulent green leaves, large vibrantly-coloured flowers, and winter blooming. The sweet nectar attracts birds, butterflies and bees. With a minimum temperature of 10 °C, in temperate regions it is grown under glass. The cultivar A. arborescens 'Variegata' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. This aloe is easily propagated by cuttings.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.