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Products > Aloe vera
 
Aloe vera - Medicinal Aloe
  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Aloeaceae (Aloes)
Origin: Arabian Peninsula (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Aloe barbadensis]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Aloe vera (Medicinal Aloe) - Known for its medicinal qualities, this aloe forms clusters of rosettes of upright fleshy gray-green leaves. The yellow flowers appear in spring to early summer in 3-5 foot tall sparsely-branched upright panicles. The flowers produce not seed. Best in full sun along the coast to light shade inland with occasional summer watering, but will tolerate periodic drought conditions. Hardy to 28° F. This is not the common plant sold in supermarkets erroneously as Aloe vera with spotted leaves and orange flowers. This other plant has been commonly known as Aloe vera var. chinensis or Aloe indica but is thought to be a hybrid or form of Aloe officinalis. Part of the problem is that there is no known native occurrence of the species and it is thought to have been in cultivation for nearly four millennia with plants naturalized along trade routes throughout much of the world, which makes it pretty hard to track its origins. The scientific name assigned to this aloe has been changed several times in the last few years from Aloe vera to Aloe barbadensis and then back to Aloe vera. It seems that this controversy dates back to the two names being published a couple weeks apart back in April of 1768. In "The Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons" (Edited by Urs Eggli, Springer-Verlag 2001) L.E. Lewis, the author on the section Aloaceae, lists the plant as Aloe vera (Linné) Burman and notes that Linné (Carl von Linné or Carolus Linnaeus) did not pubish the combinations of Aloe vera as a numbered species and that Gilbert Westacott Reynolds in "The Aloes of tropical Africa and Madagascar" (1966) argued that the name should be A. barbadensis but had overlooked the combination published by N.L. Burman (not later than April 6, 1768), which has priority over Miller's name [A. Barbadensis]. Lewis cites as reference for this information L.E. Newton's article "In defence of the name Aloe vera" in the the "Cactus and Succulent Journal of Great Britain" (1979:41-2).  This description is based on our research and our observations of this plant growing in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We always appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or have additional cultural tips that would aid others growing Aloe vera .
 
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