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Monday, September 1, 2014

ALOE VERA PLANT


Aloe is more or less succulent shrubby perennials, spiked, with or without organized white spots and may vary in both size and height with fleshy fibrous roots.  Leaves are arranged spirally in a rosette, very thick and fleshy and containing a colourless, yellow, brown or purple sap for which they are valued.  It is very cactus-like in its characteristics. This unique plant also belongs to a larger plant family called "Xeroids". Studies on the aloe leaf reveal that there are over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, and 12 vitamins in the plant.  The medicinal and nutritional possibilities for members of the aloe family are varied .


Aloes do best in a warm environment with an ample amount of strong light. They can do well with some direct sunlight part of the day. They do not tolerate freezing temperatures. They can grow quite large in a greenhouse and need only be re-potted when absolutely necessary. Cut the lower leaves for medicinal use as the plant grows from the center outward. Do not over water and you need only fertilize moderately during the warmer months. Good drainage is essential.

Succulent perennial herb up to 160 cm tall, without stem or with a short stem up to 30 cm long, freely suckering and forming dense groups. Leaves 16–20 in a dense rosette, erect to slightly spreading; stipules absent; petiole absent; blade linear-lanceolate, 40–50 cm × 6–7 cm, apex acuminate, margins slightly pinkish, with deltoid, firm teeth 2 mm long, pale, 1–2 cm apart, fleshy, upper surface rather flat, grey-green to pale green, lower surface convex; leaf sap yellowish. Inflorescence a terminal dense raceme 30–40 cm × 5–6 cm; peduncle simple or sometimes 1–2-branched above the middle, 60–90 cm tall; bracts ovate-acute, deflexed, up to 1 cm long. Flowers bisexual, regular, 3-merous; pedicel c. 5 mm long; perianth tubular, up to 3 cm long, inflated around the ovary, lobes 6, 3 outer lobes acute, 3 inner lobes obtuse, yellow, orange or red; stamens 6, exserted; ovary superior, 3-celled, 6-grooved, style filiform, stigma head-shaped, exserted. Fruit a capsule, dehiscing loculicidally, many-seeded. Seeds 7 mm long, dark brown, winged.

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