Aloe arborescens var. mzimnyati (Dwarf Torch Aloe) - A small to medium size succulent shrub to 30 inches tall by an equal spread with branching stems holding many open 10-inch-wide rosettes of narrow recurved soft-toothed margined green leaves that blush with red tones under drought stress. The orange flowers are held on an unbranched inflorescence that rises a foot to 18 inches above the foliage in late mid to late winter. They are smaller, lighter colored, and appear later in winter than the fall flowering species.
Plant in full sun along the coast to light shade. This plant is new to cultivation but based on the performance of the species and what we have seen in the nursery, this drought tolerant plant should be a great plant for in coastal California, growing without any supplementary irrigation and cold hardy down to the mid 20s F. Its smaller size also makes it a better choice for mixed rock and succulent gardens and tight areas where Aloe arborescens itself would be too large.
For more information about the species see our listing of Aloe arborescens. Several variations of Aloe arborescens, which has a wide natural distribution through much of southern Africa (from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi south through eastern South Africa), have been given formal status as a subspecific or variety including this plant that was described by South African botanists Ernst J. Van Jaarsveld and Abraham Erasmus van Wyk in 2005 from plants found only on cliffs along the lower Mzimnyati River in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. While this name is listed as accepted by Kew in their database, other botanical experts regard all varieties and subspecies of Aloe arborescens as being a single variable species that needs further research. We first received this plant from John Miller of the Institute for Aloe Studies in September 2020 as IAS 20-002c.
The information about Aloe arborescens var. mzimnyati displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.