Aloe vera, also known as burn plant, is from the lily family of plants (Liliaceae). It is a fleshy plant used for medicinal purposes and in rock gardens as a subtropic cactus.
A fleshy succulent plant, aloe vera leaves can grow to 18 inches long and 2 inches wide. It has a grayish-green appearance. Main rosettes can reach 2 feet high. Yellow flowers appear in winter and spring.
Aloe vera plants prefer full sun to partial shade. They can grow in most types of soil, but the soil must be well-drained. They are typically very drought-tolerant because of their similarities to cactus.
Aloe vera grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 8 to 11, mostly the southern and desert regions of the United States.
To propagate the aloe vera plant, separate the "pup" offsets and replant them. They root easily.
Close to 300 different species of aloe exist. They are often confused with agave plants.
Aloe has a clear gelatin sap that can soothe burns and help wounds heal quicker. It is an ingredient in some commercial skin cremes and lotions.
aloe, aloe vera, burn plant
About this Author
T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.