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Aloe vera (Medicinal Aloe)

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Scientific Name

Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f.

Common Names

Aloe Vera, Medicinal Aloe, Medicine Plant, Barbados Aloe, Burn Aloe, Burn Plant, First Aid Plant, Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe, True Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Wand of Heaven, Miracle Plant, Savila

Synonyms 

Aloe barbadensis, Aloe chinensis, Aloe elongata, Aloe flava, Aloe indica, Aloe lanzae, Aloe maculata, Aloe perfoliata var. barbadensis, Aloe perfoliata var. vera, Aloe rubescens, Aloe vulgaris

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Aloe

Description

Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant up to 40 inches (1 m) tall. It spreads by creating pups or offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on the upper and lower stem surfaces. The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small, white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall. Each flower is pendulous, with a yellow, tubular corolla up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The first step in Aloe Vera care is to realize that this plant is a succulent. Like cacti, succulents do best in dry conditions. When growing Aloe Vera plants, plant them in a cactus potting soil mix or a regular potting soil that has been amended with additional perlite or building sand. Also, make sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes. It cannot tolerate standing water.

One important thing in the care of Aloe Vera houseplants is that they have proper light. They need bright light, so they do best in south- or west-facing windows. Another important part of how to grow an Aloe Vera is to water the plant properly. The soil should be allowed to go completely dry before being watered. When the plant is watered, the soil should be thoroughly drenched, but the water should be allowed to drain freely from the soil… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for an Aloe Vera

Uses

This plant has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Native to North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands, today it is grown in tropical climates worldwide. From relieving heartburn to slowing the spread of cancer, researchers are only first beginning to unlock all of the powerful uses of this universal plant and its many amazing byproducts… – See more at: 7 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

Origin

Aloe vera is native to the arid regions of north-eastern and southern parts of Africa and Madagascar.

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