AZ Arboretums

Aloe barbadensis (A. vera)

Aloe VeraCommon: Aloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Barbados aloe
Family: Liliaceae
Origin: Native to North Africa
Light: Full sun, light shade
Soil: Performs well in any soil type with drainage
Water: Very drought and heat resistant

Use the Aloe vera in desert or rock gardens and transitional areas. It is attractive as scattered clumps and in containers. Evergreen, the plant consists of spiky rosettes formed of upward pointing leaves. This plant grows rapidly to three feet tall by offshoots to 10 feet wide. The leaves have sharp tips and white to reddish teeth. Spikes of yellowish or orange flowers appear in spring on 36 inch stems.

Introduced by the Spanish to California and originally planted in mission herb gardens to treat burns and skin complaints, the aloe vera attracts hummingbirds and orioles.