Monday, February 09, 2009
Synonyms: Lebombo Aloe, Aloe sessiliflora
The Aloes have been a colorful sight around here. The colors are bright and bold and the spikes of flowers are almost everywhere. These two were unusual the first having the striped buds and reddish edged foliage. The red one (second) was a nice dark red with the bottom of the spike having a little yellow, it was unnamed.
Aloes have been used medicinally for centuries. I have used it myself for burns and it also is used in many cosmetics and skin care products. While there are over 250 species of Aloe the one used most is Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera). The species range in size from miniature to giant trees and often form massive colonies. The minis are really cute and this is the first time I have noticed them growing in large numbers.
Aloes generally grow in non-freezing climates (USDA Zone 10-11) but can be cultivated indoors as houseplants. They need sufficient sunlight and not too much water.