Common Soap Aloe

Scientific Name
Aloe maculata All.
Higher Classification
Aloe disticha Mill. (later homonym), not of L. (1753), Aloe latifolia (Haw.) Haw., Aloe leptophylla N.E.Br. ex Baker, Aloe leptophylla N.E.Br. ex Baker var. stenophylla Baker, Aloe macracantha Baker, Aloe maculosa Lam., Aloe perfoliata L. var. lambda L., Aloe perfoliata L. var. saponaria Aiton, Aloe perfoliata L. var. theta L., Aloe saponaria (Aiton) Haw., Aloe saponaria (Aiton) Haw. var. brachyphylla Baker, Aloe saponaria (Aiton) Haw. var. ficksburgensis Reynolds, Aloe saponaria (Aiton) Haw. var. latifolia Haw., Aloe umbellata DC., Aloe umfoloziensis Reynolds
Common Names
Amahlala (z), Bontaalwyn (a), Common Soap Aloe (e), Icena (z), Ingcelwane (x), Lekhala (ss), Lekhala La Thaba (ss)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Extremely widespread, common and not threatened.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga
Extremely widespread and common in South Africa, ranging from the Cape Peninsula along the Western Cape south coast to the Eastern Cape, where it also occurs further inland in the northern parts of the Eastern Cape to the Drakensberg foothills. It is also found on the highlands of Lesotho and the Free State, but does not occur on the highest peaks of the Drakensberg Escarpment. In KwaZulu-Natal the range extends along the Drakensberg foothills and through the Midlands northwards to southern Mpumalanga. A. maculata also occurs in the Inyanga district in Zimbabwe.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Albany Thicket, Fynbos, Grassland
Highly variable. Occurs mostly in grassland, from sea level to high altitude alpine flora in the Drakensberg. Also often found in rocky outcrops and thicket vegetation.
A. maculata is extremely common, widespread and not in danger of extinction (Van Wyk and Smith 1996). No threats.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloe maculata All.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Aloe umfoloziensis ReynoldsLower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)

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.

Pooley, E. 2003. Mountain flowers: a field guide to the flora of the Drakensberg and Lesotho. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

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.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

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.

von Staden, L. 2008. Aloe maculata All. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/04/24

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Distribution map

© D. Turner

© D. Turner

© C. Merry

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

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