Nearly drought-resistant, the aloe family of plants is part of the Liliaceae family of succulents, and most may be grown in USDA zones 8b-11. These perennial plants are not frost tolerant but can survive in colder, frost-free locations, according to the 1997 Sunset National Garden Book. The plants range in size and shape from small clumping shrubs to 18-foot high trees, many of which produce blooms. Depending on the variety, flowers may range in color from yellow to pink, and leaves may have distinctive white spots or bands.
This so-called tree aloe plant grows to 18 feet with branch-like stems that have clumps of gray-green, spiny leaves, according to the 1997 Sunset National Garden Book. This aloe produces cone-shaped flowers ranging in color from vermilion to clear yellow in early to mid-winter. Damage may occur if temperatures are consistently below 28 degrees Fahrenheit, though the plant is hardy to 17 degrees.
This short, clumpy aloe is a shrub with broad, white-spotted leaves. According to the 1997 Sunset National Garden Book, this plant spreads quickly but can be easily separated. Flower stalks grow up to 2 1/2 feet tall from the center of the stalk and produce blooms ranging in color from orange-red to pink.
Also known as partridge breast or tiger aloe, this plant grows to 1 foot high and has dark green, triangle-shaped leaves with white edges. The leaves are about 5 inches long. Loose clusters of flowers in pink to muted red bloom throughout the year, according to the 1997 Sunset National Garden Book.
The most well-known aloe variety, this plant is also known as vera, medicinal or Barbados aloe, and when the leaves are broken, the gel-like substance inside can be used to treat burns, bites or inflammation. LoveToKnow.com describes the plant as a low cluster of rosettes with narrow, stiff, vertical leaves that grow up to two feet long. This plant produces yellow flowers on a 3-foot stalk in spring and summer. Aloe vera is prevalent in California and hardy in USDA zones 9-11, according to the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.