This large, slow stemming aloe with its very deep red (even purplish) flowers that open from mid winter to early spring brings a unique new colour to the late winter garden. The long, up-curving racemes with their large flowers are borne on multiple inflorescences. The showy flowers are enhanced by longish, slightly decurving, green leaves that add grace to the plant even when it is not in flower.
The leaves are u-shaped in cross section and lined with widely spaced, small reddish spines. They may show a pinkish hue in times of water and/or cold stress. This is perfectly natural.
The plant has not been seen to produce stem shoots, but division of the rosette is possible in mature specimens. Because of its size ‘Lava Flow’ will probably prefer an open planting area, although young plants readily flower in 18 lit bags, indicating that a large enough container would also give sufficient room for the plant to develop well.
My choice for a companion aloe would be Aloe ‘Giza’ if one is looking for something of similar stature, or Aloe ‘Borealis’ as a foreground (smaller) plant. Both are late flowering oranges that will bring out the dark red of Aloe ‘Lava Flow’.
Updated 17 March 2020.