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Aloe



Aloe dorotheae at the
Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix in April


     Aloe is a genus of about 400 rosette producing succulents from Africa, Arabia and Madagascar. They are closely related to Gasteria and Haworthia. They are very varied in size and shape and range from tiny 2 inch round clustering dwarves to giant trees 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Some are stemless and produce wide patches of rosettes. Others gradually produce stems that may or may not branch. Some have lance shaped leaves armed with sharp hard teeth, others bear teeth that are soft and harmless. A few varieties are completely toothless. Leaves often bear interesting markings and patterns and turn reddish during the winter cold or when otherwise stressed. Hybrids abound in cultivation and many of these plants are truly beautiful. Mostly in winter but sometimes year round Aloes produce a stalk of tubular flowers. Flower colors range from a salmon pink to red, yellow, or orange and are a favorite of hummingbirds.
     Aloe is most famous for it's healing properties. Aloe vera gel is used topically on burns and other skin disorders and is an ingredient in many skin lotions. Aloes are also used in some Asian drinks and as a tea additive and is said to have laxative properties. However the juice from some species such as A. venenosa is poisonous.
     Aloes are popular plants in cultivation for both pot and garden culture. They can be grown in any good commercial cacti and succulent mix and appreciate water during the growing season. In winter less water should be given but they should not be allowed to completely dry for too long a period. At all times of year loss of lower leaves is normal. These can be pulled off occasionally to keep the plant trim and clean. It is also beneficial to occasionally prune lower leaves to encourage new growth.


I have oodles of Aloes, some unidentified.
Click on a thumbnail below.


Aloe
haworthioides

Aloe
variegata

Aloe nobilis
"Crosbys Compact"

Aloe
ferox

Aloe rauhii
"Snowflake"

Aloe
zanzabarica

Aloe
striata

Aloe
aristata

Aloe
zebrina

Aloe
hemmingii

Aloe
ciliaris

Aloe
broomii

Aloe
"Lizard Lips"

Aloe
divaricata

Aloe
humilis

Aloe
plicatilis

Aloe
dorotheae

Aloe
brevifolia

Aloe hybrid
"Minibelle"

Aloe
jucunda


Unidentified Aloes

Aloe
1

Aloe
2

Aloe
3

Aloe
4

Aloe
5

Aloe
6

All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.
Aloe plicatilis small.jpg