Aloe suprafoliata (Book Aloe)

Juvenile plants form a fan shape with the blue-green leaves stacked one on top of the other. After a few years they form rosettes on a hidden stem.

Name & classification

Botanical name:
Aloe suprafoliata

Common names:
Book Aloe (English); Boekaalwyn (Afrikaans)

Plant family:
Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee)
- Includes genera Aloe, Asphodelus and Kniphofia

Plant categories:
Cacti and Succulents; Non-herbaceous Perennials

Name derivation & history:
Aloe suprafoliata got its name from the way the leaves of juvenile plants are arranged, one on top of the other in ranks of two.



Leaf habit:

1 metre

1 metre

Has thorns

Plant shape:
Solitary rosettes forms on stems that are not visible.

Leaf description:
In juvenile plants two-ranked and the spiral arrangement only appears after a few years of growth. Leaves are bluish-green in colour, leaf-margins are armed with sharp brown teeth. Leaf tips are often red in colour especially in hot dry weather.

Flower description:
Up to three simple inflorescences are borne from the plant simultaneously. Racemes are long and narrow and appear to have a silvery sheen. The flowers are pinkish-red in colour, cylindrical in shape.

Flower colour:

Flowering months:
May to July


Natural distribution:
Aloe suprafoliata can be found in Mpumalanga, northern KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland.

Aloe suprafoliata can be found on rocky slopes that are exposed to low tempertures and mist.

Water requirements:
Waterwise (little water required)

Frost tolerance:
Semi-hardy (tolerates mild frost for short periods)

Light conditions:

Other Characteristics

Drought resistant
Wind resistant
Has non-aggressive roots
Suitable for growing in containers
Low maintenance

Edibility & Toxicity

We have no confirmation that any part of this plant is edible
We have no confirmation that any part of this plant is toxic, however we urge caution as this information may be incorrect.


Other information

Similar species:
Mature Aloe suprafoliata can be confused with Aloe pretoriensis when not in flower. Aloe suprafoliata when in flower can easily be identified by its racemes that have a silvery sheen, rounded flower bracts and simple inflorescence.

Your notes & lists

You need to be a registered user in order to create plant lists and notes. If you have already registered, then please log in now, otherwise, register here. It will only take a moment and we won't pass your information on to anyone else.

You can then use this section to create lists of your own plants in your garden, or a list of favourite plants or simply a wish list