Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f.
Aloe vera, commonly known as bitter aloe, is a succulent perennial.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The perennials prefer a sunny situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be gritty loam. They tolerate temperatures down to -12Â°C (USDA zone 8).
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: drought
Suited as indoor plant.
Maintenance and Propagation
The plants usually need very little maintenance.
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.
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe 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.