The bottle brush aloe is a shrub or tree-like plant well known for its neat habit and low maintenance. It is moderately large and forms a solitary or sparsely branched stem that can reach a mature height of 2m. This plant is often found growing naturally on rocky areas, steep slopes and cliffs. In South Africa, Aloe spicata occurs in abundance in Northern KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces.
Like other Aloes, Aloe spicata can be identified by its pale green leaves which are deeply guttered on the upper surface. The leaves also have a bright green colour infused with orange-pink to red tones, particularly near the margins. They are also sharply toothed on the margins and are very juicy with a yellowish, slimy sap. During winter, the leaves turn reddish in colour, thus bringing a beautiful autumn colour to the garden. The yellow flowers produced during winter are borne on stout stems and are more or less tubular in shape.
Aloe spicata is drought tolerant and is suitable for xeriscaping. It grows well both under full sun and semi-shade conditions. The fruit and stem of this plant have been reportedly used for applications in skin care such as wound healing and for skin hyperpigmentation problems. It has also been reportedly used as a laxative and wound healing agent.