Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Clanwilliam Aloe
Aloe comosa

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: comosa (kom-OH-suh) (Info)

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Aloe comosa by palmbob

By RWhiz
Thumbnail #2 of Aloe comosa by RWhiz

By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Aloe comosa by palmbob

By palmbob
Thumbnail #4 of Aloe comosa by palmbob

By thistlesifter
Thumbnail #5 of Aloe comosa by thistlesifter

Thumbnail #6 of Aloe comosa by ALTER_EGO

By palmbob
Thumbnail #7 of Aloe comosa by palmbob

There are a total of 15 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Little_things On Aug 27, 2008, Little_things from Port Elizabeth
South Africa (Zone 10a) wrote:

Occurs in a restricted area near Clanwilliam in the Western Cape of South Africa at 300-600m (990-2000ft). It is vulnerable due to small world populations. Comosa means "bearing a tuft of leaves" and commonly its also called the Clanwilliam aloe.

Positive Porphyrostachys On Jun 11, 2007, Porphyrostachys from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This Aloe seems to like the arid conditions of the Phoenix area in Arizona. The plant in my photos is rather small but has flowered at least twice prior and this year sent up TWO inflors. This plant is in the yard of a friend and we're both rather surprised it survived the evil frost of 2007.
Aloe comosa, by the way, does not sucker. ;-)


Positive thistlesifter On Aug 22, 2006, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:

I have grown quite a number these of these. some were acquired at fairly mature sizes. Several grown from 4 inch potted seedlings have grown to flowering size in 3 years. Two plants have grown to over 40" tall and flower with 6ft spikes every year. These are in San Diego County 7 miles from pacific coast..

In Southern California these should not be given any water from the top for the first couple of months in the summer. The morning dew will stand in the growth center of the plant. The growth center is highly vulnerable during this period of the summer and rot sets in within a day or so.

I water it lightly from the base beginning in late August. Light June rain can cause rot if the growth center is not dried as soon as possible.


Positive palmbob On Feb 17, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Attractive short-stemmed aloe with pale blue-green leaves to pink in winter. Has some spines up middle of ventral leaf surface, and marginal spines. Enventually, with many years, will form an unbranched trunk. Rare in cultivation, as well as the wild. Most distinguishing characteristic (which I have yet to witness) are the exceptionally tall, unbranched racemes of pale pink flowers in summer (flowers can be up to 9' tall)... as Porphyrostachys mentioned, does not sucker (not sure why I said it did, earlier).

Now that I have grown one of these for over 6 years I can confidently claim that this is one of the slowest growing aloes on the planet (at least in my climate)! My seedling has put on 3 leaves in 6 years and at this rate it will be flowering long after the planet has been covered by ice again.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tempe, Arizona
Mission Viejo, California
Spring Valley, California
Tarzana, California
Vista, California

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