speciesAloe vera

Aloe vera

(Linnaeus) Burman f.

Fl. Indica, 83. 1768.

Common names: Barbados aloe Curaçao aloe medicinal aloe unguentine cactus burn plant
Basionym: Aloe perfoliata var. vera Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 1: 320. 1753
Synonyms: Aloe barbadensis Miller
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 411.

Plants short-stemmed, woody-based, stoloniferous. Stems to 50 cm; scarious leaf sheaths persistent. Leaves alternate, rosulate to distichous, 10–50 × 10–70 cm; blade glaucous-green to variegated with small white or glaucous dots, irregular bands, or blotches, often reddish near apex or margins, lanceolate to ensate, tapering from base to apex, glabrous, margins green, spiny-toothed, teeth 1–1.5 cm apart. Inflorescences terminal, usually unbranched, racemose, 10–15 dm, usually covered with scalelike bracts; racemes cylindrical, dense, 0.5 m; bracts glabrous or puberulent, with 3 prominent purple veins that are confluent at tips. Flowers: perianth yellow; tepals prominently 3-veined, connate basally for 1/2 their length, lobes broadly linear to oblong-lanceolate, apex rounded; stamens 6, included to slightly exserted, slightly unequal; filaments 2–2.5 cm; anthers 2.5–4 mm; style usually exserted; stigmas not expanded; pedicel 2.2–3.3 cm. Capsules somewhat elongate. 2n = 14.

Phenology: Flowering spring–winter, occasionally at other times.
Habitat: Hammocks, sandy areas, roadsides, and similar places in full sun
Elevation: 0 and 1300 m


V26 846-distribution-map.jpg

Introduced; Ariz., Fla., Tex., Mediterranean region and Atlantic islands (Canary, Madeira, and Cape Verde).


This is the aloe of commerce and source of bitter aloe. Most of the world’s supply is grown in southern Texas and adjacent northwestern Mexico and the West Indies. The species is thought to be native to the Atlantic islands and is widely used as an indoor ornamental. It is often cultivated outdoors in the southwestern United States, where it occasionally escapes.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Aloe vera"
Walter C. Holmes +  and Heather L. White +
(Linnaeus) Burman f. +
Aloe perfoliata var. vera +
Barbados aloe +, Curaçao aloe +, medicinal aloe +, unguentine cactus +  and burn plant +
Ariz. +, Fla. +, Tex. +, Mediterranean region and Atlantic islands (Canary +, Madeira +  and and Cape Verde). +
0 and 1300 m +
Hammocks, sandy areas, roadsides, and similar places in full sun +
Flowering spring–winter, occasionally at other times. +
Fl. Indica, +
Introduced +  and Illustrated +
Aloe barbadensis +
Aloe vera +
species +