Denver Zoo Map

Aloe dorotheae



Class: Liliopsida
Order: Liliales
Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe
Species: dorotheae


Fun Facts

  • This aloe can be difficult to successfully pollinate in cultivation
  • Most all the plants available in the U.S. are clones of a very small gene pool.



This aloe is native to Tanzania, Eastern Africa. Known only from two localities: 6.5 km south of Handeni, Kideleko Rock and from Kwa Mkono. Although quite rare in nature this plant is abundant in cultivation.


In Nature: This plant grows in full sun and partial shade on bare rock slabs on inselbergs. It prefers warm temperatures but can tolerate light, brief freezes.

At the Zoo:  This is a smaller aloe that is displayed throughout Predator Ridge.  It lives outside from May to October and in the Denver Zoo greenhouse in fall and winter.  It can be easily spotted with its bright red leaves.


Physical Description

  • Medium sized aloe, 18-24” H x 24-36” W
  • Stem-less plant, produces many offsets rather than a single long-lived plant
  • Leaves are small, only reaching a length of around 6-10” long and 1-2” wide
  • In good light the leaves turn a bright fiery red/orange
  • Flowers appear in winter months and are a pretty orange & yellow color, stalks can reach 2 feet or higher


No additional feeding is needed with this plant, it looks best when malnourished.


Mature plants produce many offsets and seed. This plant receives winter rainfall and rests in the summer months. The best color is attained during the rest period.

Conservation connection

This plant was  listed as critically endangered in 2006 and will likely become extinct in the wild because no part of its remaining native range occurs within protected areas. Human collection for medical purposes plays a large role in its decline. Efforts must be made to reverse over-collection before it is too late.

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