Aloe munchii (Large Chimanimani Aloe) A moderately fast growing small tree aloe that grows upwards to 15' tall. It is most often solitary but occasionally seen branching from the base with blue-green upright 20 inch long leaves that recurved slightly toward the tips and can turn and yellow orange in winter .
The fall to early winter flowers are on a 2 to 3 branched inflorescence that rises 1 to 2 feet above the foliage - the flowers are a deep orange and held in tight capitate clusters with the tips of the flower buds slightly upturned and having a purplish cast. Plant in full sun win a well drained soil. We have had this plant out and undamaged at 27 °F and others note it hardy to 25 °F. This is a great landscape small tree aloe for Southern California.
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. It is named by Hugh Basil Christian in 1950 for Raymond Charles Munch (1901 - 1985), a farmer and aloe and cycad plant collector from Rusape, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Munch and his wife Hazel O. Munch (honored in the naming of Aloe hazeliana) explored and botanized southern and central Africa.
We first became enamored by this plant when seeing it blooming at Tom Cole's Cold Spring Aloes. Our original stock plants from John Miller of the Institute of Aloe Studies.
The information on this page is based on our research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Aloe munchii.