Aloe comptonii is one of the creeping aloes. This means that it has one or more rosettes facing up, stems of varying length lying on the ground. There is a difference between stemless A. comptonii plants in the east of the species distribution in the Karoo and Eastern Cape as far as Uitenhage, and ones with stems in the west, the Little Karoo and Great Karoo as far west as Montagu.
The leaves of A. comptonii are blue-green, narrowly triangular with teeth only on the margins. These teeth are conical, white and blunt. The plants bloom in spring and summer, presenting single racemes or branched panicles of up to eight racemes. The raceme is short, cone-shaped and densely stacked with long, thin, red perianths, pendulous when open.
This plant was photographed in Meiringspoort where it hangs over the edge of a rock by the roadside; in the region where one would expect stems. Notice how long some of them are. All seen here may be just one plant and probably quite old (Van Wyk and Smith, 2003; http://made-in-afrika.com).