Garden Aloes

Aloe munchii

Also Known As: Large Chimanimani Aloe

Category: Large Clumping Aloes

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b-11


Aloe munchii is a moderately fast growing small and slender tree aloe that grows upwards to 15 feet tall with a crown of dull gray green leaves. It is an easy to cultivate plant with sparsely branched inflorescences holding spectacular orange or red flowers.


The rosettes of Aloe munchii are rather upright in orientation but a bit floppy due to softness of leaves. Leaves in a dense rosette at the apices of the branches, often tinged pinkish-red, particularly along the toothed margins. Usually solitary, but sometimes branching near the base, and stems rarely have dead leaves left on them. Leaves are pale blue-green and upright, similar to a solitary Aloe acutissima. It is most often solitary but occasionally seen branching from the base with upright 20 inch long leaves that recurved slightly toward the tips. Blue green, bendable, almost rubbery leaves with relatively widely spaced, non-painful yellow teeth. It grows up to 15 feet tall and is usually solitary (rarely branching, usually near base) and was until recently a pretty rare plant in cultivation. Aloe munchii is a fast grower, growing from a seedling to flowering plant in my yard in just a few years.


In the fall to early winter Aloe munchii flowers are on thick 2 to 3 branched inflorescences that rise 1 to 2 feet above the foliage. Racemes are nearly spherical and hold bright orange flowers (with yellowy mouths as they open). The bright orange-red flowers of Aloe munchii are 35-45 mm ( 1 to 2 inches) long. The tips of the flower buds slightly upturned and have a purplish cast. Fruits are an odd pebbly consistency like a shark skin.

Origin / History

This species, allied to the more southerly Aloe arborescens, comes from both sides of the Chimanimani Mountains which defines the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique where it grows in and around quartzite rocky outcrops at an altitude between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. Aloe munchii was named after Raymond Charles Munch (1901 - 1985), Zimbabwean farmer and plant collector with a particular interest in aloes and cycads. Munch and his wife Hazel O. Munch (honored in the naming of Aloe hazeliana) explored and botanized southern and central Africa.

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Care / Cultivation

Plant in full sun win a well drained soil. Not a great plant for an open, super windy location, as Aloe munchii gets rather top heavy and it's stems can snap. Best to plant near structures. In cultivation it can be grown in some tropical and many warm temperate climates in USDA Zones 9 and above.

Frost Tenderness

Aloe munchii has been reported as hardy to between 25F and 27F.

Use in the Garden

For some reason, Aloe munchii is underused, but is a great small tree aloe for Southern California landscapes.

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Learn More

The information on this page about Aloe munchii has been gathered and summarized from the sources below. Visit these pages to learn more.

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