Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Aloe marlothii (mountain aloe)

Tall mountain aloes growing on hillsides are a common sight in southern Africa.
Mountain aloe

Aloe marlothii

Species information

Scientific name: 

Aloe marlothii A.Berger

Common name: 

mountain aloe, bergaalwyn (Afrikaans), inhlaba (Zulu)

Conservation status: 

Listed by the IUCN as of Least Concern (LC) in South Africa. Listed in CITES Appendix II.


Usually rocky hillsides, and varied habitats from savanna to bushveld.

Key Uses: 


Known hazards: 

None known.


Genus: Aloe

About this species

Aloe marlothii is one of the most iconic of the hundreds of aloes occurring in Africa; dense hillside populations of the tall mountain aloe, or bergaalwyn, are a familiar sight in southern Africa.

The species is named in honour of the man who discovered it, H.W.R. Marloth, a scientist whose important contributions to botany in southern Africa have been commemorated in several plant names besides this one. Two subspecies of Aloe marlothii are recognised: subspecies orientalis differs from subspecies marlothii in that it can grow in very sandy soils, including beach sand, and tends to form clumps, as well as having fewer leaf spines, a shorter stem and racemes borne at an angle rather than horizontally.

Until recently, aloes were assigned to the plant family Asphodelaceae; the genus Aloe is now assigned to the Xanthorrhoeaceae.


main info

Courses at Kew

Students learn about plant taxonomy and identification

Kew offers a variety of specialist training courses in horticulture, conservation and plant science.

Why People Need Plants

image of book cover

A compelling book from Kew Publishing that explores the crucial role that plants play in the everyday lives of all of us.