Dwarf Hedgehog Aloe

Scientific Name
Aloe humilis (L.) Mill.
Higher Classification
Aloe acuminata Haw., Aloe echinata Willd., Aloe echinata Willd. var. minor Salm-Dyck, Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. var. acuminata (Haw.) Baker, Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. var. candollei Baker, Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. var. echinata (Willd.) Baker, Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. var. incurva Haw., Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. var. incurva Haw. subvar. minor (Salm-Dyck) A.Berger, Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. var. suberecta (Aiton) Baker, Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. var. subtuberculata (Haw.) Baker, Aloe incurva (Haw.) Haw., Aloe perfoliata L. var. humilis L., Aloe perfoliata L. var. suberecta Aiton, Aloe suberecta (Aiton) Haw., Aloe suberecta (Aiton) Haw. var. semiguttata Haw., Aloe subtuberculata Haw., Aloe tuberculata Haw., Aloe verrucosospinosa All., Catevala humilis (L.) Medik.
Common Names
Dwarf Hedgehog Aloe (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
W. Foden & L. Potter
Minor threats of over collecting and urban expansion are unlikely to lead to the extinction of this very widespread species (EOO 86 800 km²) as these threats are affecting on only a very small part of the population.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Western Cape
Calitzdorp to Grahamstown and northwards to Beaufort West and Graaff-Reinet.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Albany Thicket, Fynbos, Nama Karoo
Arid renosterveld, thicket and karroid shrubland. Flats, rocky slopes and under the shade of bushes. Plants can be very variable depending on habitat conditions.
Urban expansion, especially between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage is a past and ongoing threat to subpopulations in this area, but this is impacting only a small part of the large range of this species and is unlikely to lead to A. humilis becoming threatened with extinction. A. humilis is a stemless dwarf aloe and grows and flowers well in cultivation. It is a popular horticultural subject and removal of plants from the wild have caused local declines in accessible sites such as roads sides. However, overcollecting is not considered a serious threat (Van Wyk and Smith 1996).
Population trend
Protected in the Karoo National Park and several private game reserves around Somerset East.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloe humilis (L.) Mill.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Glen, H.F. and Hardy, D.S. 2000. Aloaceae (First part): Aloe. In: G. Germishuizen (ed). Flora of Southern Africa 5 Part 1, Fascicle 1:1-159. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Reynolds, G.W. 1969. The Aloes of South Africa. A.A. Balkema, Cape Town.

Van Wyk, B.-E. and Smith, G. 1996. Guide to the aloes of South Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2009. Aloe humilis (L.) Mill. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/05/26

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Distribution map

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

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