Common names: Aloe Family
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 410. Mentioned on page 12, 15, 18, 20.

Trees, shrubs, and succulents, perennial, simple to sparsely branched, rhizomatous, some tuberous-thickened. Leaves simple, alternate, usually crowded at bases of stems or ends of branches, sessile; blade fleshy, margins often prickly, venation parallel. Inflorescences terminal, axillary, or lateral, spicate, racemose, or paniculate. Flowers 3-merous, short- to long-pedicellate, rarely sessile; perianth red, brown, yellow, orange, or whitish; tepals petaloid, connivent or connate basally to almost entirely into tube, sometimes fleshy; stamens sometimes 3, usually 6, exserted or included; anthers dorsifixed, dehiscence antrorse; pollen grains monosulcate; ovary 3-carpellate, placentation axile, usually with septal nectaries; style terminal; stigmas punctate, discoid, or 3-lobed. Fruits capsular, rarely baccate, dehiscence loculicidal, apical. Seeds usually winged or flattened.


Introduced; All Africa, Madagascar, Arabia, and Atlantic islands.


Genera 5, species ca. 700 (1 genus, 2 species in the flora).

Aloaceae are closely related to and included by some authors in Liliaceae.

The juice of some Aloe species is used to make a purgative called bitter aloe; active ingredients include aloin and other anthraquinones. Additionally, the thick, mucilaginous gel of some species is widely used to treat minor thermal burns, itching, and sunburn.

Selected References


Lower Taxa