Aloe vera x
Family Synonyms: Liliaceae
Botanical Synonyms: Aloe barbadensis x
Common Names: Aloe vera, bitter aloe
Geographic Origin: Although the second parent of this hybrid is unknown, the dominant appearance derives from Aloe vera, and the species requires similar care. Aloe vera is believed to have originated from Africa, but is currently cultivated throughout the warmer regions of the world, especially in South America, in various climates and elevations.
Description: Aloe vera is a perennial, short-stemmed or stemless succulent that forms clusters of glaucous rosettes up to 3.3 feet tall. Each rosette consists of spear-shaped, thick, glaucous leaves with serrated margins. Hybrids usually possess the traits of the dominant parent plant, but may be flushed gray, pink, or pale green, with white teeth. In spring or summer, a tall spike of tubular yellow flowers will form, sparsely branching and leading to fruits with many seeds.
- Watering: Low
- Propagation: Aloe vera does not produce viable seed, and can only be propagated through stem cuttings and offsets, which are easily produced by mature plants.
- Cold tolerance: 20-40°F, USDA hardiness zones 9a - 11
- Special Accommodations: A. vera is not cold hardy and should be protected from frost and low temperatures. When repotting, choose a pot that is wide rather than deep. Additionally, the species is moderately toxic to dogs and cats, and should be sited away from pets or small children.