Large specimens of the fan aloe may reach a height of 3-5 m. The stems are forked with clusters of strap-shaped leaves arranged in 2 opposite rows. The clusters resemble an open fan, hence the common name fan aloe. The leaves are dull or grey-green in colour, with the margins almost smooth, except for some small teeth in the upper part. The leaves are about 300 mm long and 40 mm wide. The leaf sap is clear. The racemes are cylindrical in shape and are always single in each leaf cluster. There are up to 30 tubular, scarlet flowers, each about 50 mm long and somewhat fleshy in texture. This unusual arrangement and shape of the leaves makes this Aloe species unique. It flowers from August to October.