Family: Liliaceae

Scientific Name: Aloe vera

Common Name: Aloe vera, Aloe, Curacao, Aloe Barbados, Medicine Plant, Burn Plant

DescriptionAn extremely popular plant grown for its medicinal uses. The thick gelatinous sap is used as a topical salve to heal burns, insect bites, rashes, etc.
Plant TypeSucculents
SunlightGrows best in full to bright light. In low light it will become lanky and lose it's natural form.
MoistureLet the plant dry out between watering. It can withstand under watering but is not as tolerant of over watering.
Growing MediaThe easiest way to avoid over watering this plant is to use a well drained growing media. Commercial mixes that are labeled for cactus and succulent plants all will work.
TemperatureThis plant grows best in warmer sites. It will tolerate temperatures up into the low hundreds. The top will be killed in freezing temperatures but the roots will remain alive as long as the soil or growing media isn't frozen.
FlowersThe flowers are orange to yellow, tubular (1-1.5") on an inflorescence. It is shy to flower in the house.
LeavesThe pale green leaves are very succulent, flecked with white and have soft spines on the margins. The leaf is composed of a thick gelatinous sap. The plant forms clumps with many offsets.
DimensionsWill become a large plant if grown outdoors in a frost free area.
MaintenanceIf given good growing conditions it may need division and repoting on a regular basis.
PropagationVery easy from division, also from seeds.
Native SiteIndigenous to East and South Africa, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Island, etc
Misc FactsAloe vera produces at least 6 antiseptic agents, three anti-inflammatory fatty acids and at least 23 polypeptides (immune stimulators). Truly "Mother Natures" cure all. Widely used in creams, lotions, shampoos, etc. Mention of this plant has been found as early as 2200 B.C.
Author's NotesI would guess that Aloe vera would be listed in the top ten for most recognizable plants. Extremely easy to grow and keep alive as long as it is given good light and not over watered
Notes & Reference#18-House Plant Encyclopedia (Nico Vermeulen), #20-Exotica (Alfred Byrd Graf), #21-Indoor Gardening (Chicago Botanical Gardens Staff)
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