General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Plant Spread: 12-16"
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Rough surface texture
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Bi-Color: Pink/red opening to pale yellow
Flower Time: Late fall or early winter
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Hummingbirds
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Can handle transplanting
Other info: Sow seeds in sandy soil. Seeds germinate in a few weeks at temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees F. Seedlings need moist but well-drained soil.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Stems cut below a node root easily. Cut a stem that has gotten leggy, let it dry out for at least a few hours to form a seal on the cut surface. Place the cutting in rooting medium kept moist, but not wet, until roots form.
Pollinators: Birds
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Common names
  • Black-Spined Aloe
  • Aloe
  • Small Mountain Aloe
  • Swartdoringaalywn
  • Kleinbergaalwyn

Photo Gallery
Location: Baja California
Date: 2019-11-09
Flowering after months of drought
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-09-20
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-12-16
Location: Baja California
Date: 2016-03-18
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-10-22
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-11-17
Floral bracts start out pink and are about twice as long as the p
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-11-17
A color change to pale yellow upon anthesis
Location: Baja California
Date: 2020-10-24
Pink bracts
Location: Baja California
Date: 2016-11-11
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-11-02
Photo by peettee79
Location: Nationale Plantentuin (Meise - Brussel - Belgium)

Andrew massyn
  • Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Feb 27, 2018 3:16 PM concerning plant:
    Small green aloe with incurved leaves that have striking black spines along their margins and undersides. May be solitary or offsetting. From arid northwestern South Africa, a winter rainfall area. Red flowers opening to pale yellow appear on unbranched inflorescences in late fall/early winter. Leaves have a distinctly rough texture. Rosettes will close up on themselves and turn brown with drought stress.

    Provide strong light and excellent drainage. Well suited to dry Mediterranean (winter rainfall) climates.

    Aloe melanacantha can be distinguished from the closely related Aloe erinacea found to its north in Namibia based on bigger size, green color, and rough leaf texture. Aloe erinacea has formerly been treated as a variety of melanacantha.

    Hybrids retain the rough leaf texture.
Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Great photo! by plantladylin Jan 20, 2021 7:35 PM 2

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