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Plant Description: Perennial herb with thick, succulent, pointed, basal leaves with a margin of small white teeth. The leaves may grow up to 18" in length. They are soft and easy to break, containing a gel-like sap within. Aloe is a great plant to start out with as it doesn't require much water or attention and can be grown for years in a pot; just be sure to let the soil dry between waterings.
Scientific Name: Aloe barbadensis; Aloe perfoliata
Common Name: Aloe, Aloe Vera, Barbados Aloe, Medicinal Aloe, Medicine Plant, True Aloe
Relatives: Astroloba, Bulbine, Chortolirion, Gasteria, Haworthia, Lomatophyllum and Poellnitzia
Distribution: Aloe species are mostly inhabitants of arid climates, and are widely distributed in Africa, India, and other arid areas. The largest number of Aloe species is approximately 140, and most are found in South Africa. However, they could also be grown in subtropical summer rainfall and winter rainfall regions
Importance: Aloe vera is grown by many for the gel in the leaves. It can be used in desserts, yogurt, and beverages. It is also grown for medicinal purposes. Its soothing, moisturizing and cooling properties are often used to treat superficial burns and sunburn. The plants' gel treats the burn and provides some pain relief. It can also be used during outbreaks of acne, many over the counter acne medications list aloe as an ingredient.