A lot of the different Aloe species and (especially) hybrids often get mixed up…it can be pretty difficult to ID a plant if it comes unlabeled, or even if it does come labeled – often labels are incorrect. I’ve started making (or taking) comparison photos of different plants of mine that are similar, or that I often see mixed up. Anytime there is an Aloe hybrid posted in a FB group and the person is asking for an ID, that poor person gets 20 different (mostly wrong) answers! So I like to have photos I can easily pull up to back up my answer, when I’m sure of it. Sometimes it’s easier to tell what a hybrid ISN’T than to figure out the correct name. Different growing conditions can definitely make IDing more complicated, but generally there are a set of things you look for to help make an ID.
Teeth – are they pointed (single, double)? Ridged? Smooth? Only on the leaf edges, or is the whole leaf “toothy”? Leaf shape, growth habit (curled leaves? upright leaves? stem?), pattern (spots, lines, etc), texture of leaves. Stress colors are somewhat useful, but in different locations may vary. Not enough sun causing etiolation and a lot of those identifiers change or go away as the plant stretches..less teeth, thinner leaves, less noticeable texture/pattern, and washed out colors. With species or less complex hybrids a bloom may be needed to ID. A lot of the complex hybrid blooms are fairly similar, not really helpful usually for IDing (at least to me.) One that a bloom does help ID is ‘Silver Ridge’…it’s bloomstalk is ridged, and that is an uncommon trait. Anyway, here are some of the photos I’ve taken or made to compare different plants. If you have an idea for one, let me know! If I have those plants I’ll make it.
I have a photo album dedicated to just comparison photos with a ton more than this posted up on my Facebook page. Search for Jenn M Smith – Plants and check out my page!