According to most of the bibliographic resources and the eyes in any plant-fancier's head, Aloe mitriformis is a beast with many faces. In its native range, namely from the Bokkeveld Plateau (South Africa) in the Western Cape to Caledon on the east, it appears in at least three agreed-upon forms and apparently a good number of intermediate guises. This might be a response to the exacting nature of the many environments it seems to have wandered into, from mild coastal belt to harsh, fynbos-style altitude. BELOW: Aloe mitriformis, the 'proper' species type.
The plant pictured directly above is my most cherished example of this popular and exuberant species and the flowers featured here all belong to this plant. I would personally identify as the distans subspecies mentioned in Aloes the Definitive Guide because of its flattened UFo-style inflorescence and narrower form, but everyone seems to have a different opinion. Here in New Zealand there are probably as many clones and variations as there are aloe fanciers. I forget where this flowering form came from, but the more classic mitriformis pictured above right is from Coromandel Cacti in Auckland. It's a younger plant and has yet to bloom but you can see the difference- a wider, more typically aloe-shaped form that will slowly multiply from a hidden base into a snaky wealth of flowering heads, each one up to two metres long.
^ This was the flower at an earlier stage, probably about a month ago. Below- side shoots emerging from the base of the same plant.
One of the older aloes in cultivation, mitriformis is predictably undemanding. At least that's been my experience. It would probably be just fine planted out in a well-drained spot since our conditions are almost identical to its original habitat (maritime climate, humidity, sea fogs, not stupidly hot etc). But the flowering plant is such a pretty example that I'm going to cosset it in a pot for a while. Despite its reputation for favouring certain substrates (sandstone for mitriformis, granite for distans) almost exclusively when in situ, this species has done perfectly well in my care with little-to-no soil PH/composition consideration, so I doubt it's worth tearing your hair out trying to source special mixes. Like virtually all my succulents, they spend winter in an unheated open shelter and it doesn't seem to have fazed them in the least.
This is an extremely beautiful and rewarding aloe and an easy plant for the beginner.