Aloe vera

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Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f.

Aloaceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: economic plant

Exposure: sun   8

Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: rosette
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: lanceolate

Division: simple

Shape: tubular
Fruit: loculicidal capsule

3A / f8da21 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Liliopsida
Subclassis:
Liliidae
Superordo:
Lilianae
Ordo:
Asparagales
Subordo:
Aloineae

Aloe vera, commonly known as bitter aloe, is a succulent perennial.

Naming

Aloe vera was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was Nicolaas Laurens Burman, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1768.

Taxonomy

Aloe vera is a species in the genus Aloe which contains approximately 535 to 609 species and belongs to the family of the Aloaceae (Aloe Family).

Characteristics

Aloe vera - habitus

Growth

The comparatively fast-growing and long-lived perennials reach heights of 50 to 60 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 30 to 60 centimetres.

Leaves

Aloe vera is evergreen. The mid-green, simple leaves are in rosettes. They are lanceolate with dentate margins.

Flowers and Fruits

Aloe vera produces racemes of yellow tubular flowers from June to August.

The perennials produce loculicidal capsules.

Root System

Distribution

Aloe vera is native to Northeast Africa, tropical Africa, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, India and the Arabian Peninsula and is naturalized in Greece, in the Iberian Peninsula, the Apennine Peninsula, Crete and in Turkey. It is a protected species according to the Washington Convention.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a sunny situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be gritty loam. They tolerate temperatures down to -12°C (USDA zone 8).

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: drought

Uses

Suited as indoor plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.


Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Sudden wilting and pale green discolouration indicate a fungal infection (phytophthora). Remove infected plants. Avoid by improving drainage and over-fertilization.

Scale insects that sit on the undersides of the leaves and excrete honeydew can be controlled with insecticide or biologically with parasitic wasps.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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