HOME

TheInfoList




''Aloe'' ( , ), also written ''Aloë'', is a
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
containing over 550
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
of
flowering A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which new individual organisms – "offspring" – are produced from their "parent" or parents ...

flowering
succulent ''. In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
s.The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed July 2013) The most widely known species is ''
Aloe vera#REDIRECT Aloe vera
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from incorrect capitalisation {{R from other capitalisation, plant ...

Aloe vera
'', or "true aloe". It is called this because it is cultivated as the standard source for assorted pharmaceutical purposes. Other species, such as ''
Aloe ferox ''Aloe'' ( , ), also written ''Aloë'', is a genus containing over 550 species of flowering plant, flowering succulent plant, succulent plants.The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed J ...

Aloe ferox
'', are also cultivated or harvested from the wild for similar applications. The
APG IV systemAPG is an abbreviation with several different meanings: * Aberdeen Proving Ground, a United States Army installation in Aberdeen, Maryland, also ** Phillips Army Airfield, the airfield of the above, from its IATA airport code * Aboriginal Provision ...
(2016) places the genus in the family
Asphodelaceae Asphodelaceae is a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically ...
, subfamily
Asphodeloideae Asphodeloideae is a subfamily of the monocot Family (biology), family Asphodelaceae in the Order (biology), order Asparagales. It has previously been treated as a separate family, Asphodelaceae ''sensu stricto''. The family Asphodelaceae has now ...
. Within the subfamily it may be placed in the tribe
Aloeae Aloeae is a tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairl ...
.Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards),
Asphodelaceae
, ''Angiosperm Phylogeny Website'', retrieved 2016-06-09
In the past, it has been assigned to the family
Aloaceae Asphodeloideae is a subfamily of the monocot Family (biology), family Asphodelaceae in the Order (biology), order Asparagales. It has previously been treated as a separate family, Asphodelaceae ''sensu stricto''. The family Asphodelaceae has now b ...
(now included in the Asphodeloidae) or to a broadly
circumscribed In geometry, the circumscribed circle or circumcircle of a polygon is a circle that passes through all the vertex (geometry), vertices of the polygon. The center of this circle is called the circumcenter and its radius is called the circumradius. ...
family
Liliaceae The lily family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject ...

Liliaceae
(the lily family). The plant ''
Agave americana ''Agave americana'', common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It i ...

Agave americana
'', which is sometimes called "American aloe", belongs to the
Asparagaceae Asparagaceae is a Family (biology), family of flowering plants, placed in the Order (biology), order Asparagales of the monocots. Its best known member is ''Asparagus officinalis'', garden asparagus. Taxonomy In earlier classification systems, ...
, a different family. The genus is native to tropical and southern
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
,
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...

Madagascar
,
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In ge ...

Jordan
, the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
, and various islands in the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
(
Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: Maurice, link=no ; mfe, label=Mauritian Creole Mauritian Creole or Morisien or formerly Morisyen ( mfe, kreol morisien, links=no ) is a French-based creole language spoken in Mauritius Mauritius ( ; french: ...

Mauritius
,
Réunion Réunion (french: La Réunion, ; previously ''Île Bourbon''; rcf, label=Réunion Creole, Reunionese Creole, La Rénion) is an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of ...

Réunion
,
Comoros The Comoros,; ar, جزر القمر, ' officially the Union of the Comoros,Comorian languages, Comorian: ''Udzima wa Komori,'' french: Union des Comores, ar, الاتحاد القمري ' is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the nor ...
, etc.). A few species have also become naturalized in other regions (
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
North North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydro ...

North
and
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
,
Hawaiian Islands The Hawaiian Islands ( haw, Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the Pacific Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, extending some from the Hawaii (island), island o ...
, etc.).


Description

Most ''Aloe'' species have a rosette of large, thick, fleshy
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

leaves
. ''Aloe''
flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Image:Cerisier du Japon Prunus serrulata.jpg, Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plan ...

flower
s are tubular, frequently yellow, orange, pink, or red, and are borne, densely clustered and pendant, at the apex of simple or branched, leafless stems. Many species of ''Aloe'' appear to be stemless, with the rosette growing directly at ground level; other varieties may have a branched or unbranched
stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some other structure ** Stipe (mycology), the stem supporting the c ...

stem
from which the fleshy leaves spring. They vary in color from grey to bright-green and are sometimes striped or
mottle Mottle is a pattern of irregular marks, spots, streaks, blotch A stain is a discoloration that can be clearly distinguished from the surface, material, or medium it is found upon. They are caused by the chemical or physical interaction of two ...
d. Some aloes native to South Africa are tree-like (arborescent).


Systematics

The
APG IV systemAPG is an abbreviation with several different meanings: * Aberdeen Proving Ground, a United States Army installation in Aberdeen, Maryland, also ** Phillips Army Airfield, the airfield of the above, from its IATA airport code * Aboriginal Provision ...
(2016) places the genus in the family
Asphodelaceae Asphodelaceae is a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically ...
, subfamily
Asphodeloideae Asphodeloideae is a subfamily of the monocot Family (biology), family Asphodelaceae in the Order (biology), order Asparagales. It has previously been treated as a separate family, Asphodelaceae ''sensu stricto''. The family Asphodelaceae has now ...
. In the past it has also been assigned to the families
Liliaceae The lily family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject ...

Liliaceae
and Aloeaceae, as well as the family Asphodelaceae
sensu stricto ''Sensu'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
, before this was merged into the Asphodelaceae
sensu lato ''Sensu'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
. The
circumscription Circumscription may refer to: *Circumscribed circle *Circumscription (logic) *Circumscription (taxonomy) *Circumscription theory, a theory about the origins of the political state in the history of human evolution proposed by the American anthropol ...
of the genus has varied widely. Many genera, such as ''Lomatophyllum'', have been brought into
synonymy A synonym is a word, morpheme, or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word, morpheme, or phrase in a given language. For example, in the English language, the words ''begin'', ''start'', ''commence'', and ''initiate'' are all ...
. Species at one time placed in ''Aloe'', such as ''
Agave americana ''Agave americana'', common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It i ...

Agave americana
'', have been moved to other genera. Molecular phylogenetic studies, particularly from 2010 onwards, suggested that as then circumscribed, ''Aloe'' was not
monophyletic In cladistics for a group of organisms, monophyly is the condition of being a clade—that is, a group of taxa composed only of a common ancestor (or more precisely an ancestral population) and all of its lineal descendants. Monophyletic grou ...
and should be divided into more tightly defined genera. In 2014, John Charles Manning and coworkers produced a phylogeny in which ''Aloe'' was divided into six genera: ''
Aloidendron ''Aloidendron'' is a genus of succulent plants in the subfamily Asphodeloideae. It was split off from the much larger genus ''Aloe'' in 2013. Taxonomy Phylogenetics, Phylogenetic studies indicated that several species that were traditionally cl ...
'', '' Kumara'', '' Aloiampelos'', ''Aloe'', '' Aristaloe'' and '' Gonialoe''.


Species

Over 500 species are accepted in the genus ''Aloe'', plus even more synonyms and unresolved species, subspecies, varieties, and hybrids. Some of the accepted species are: *'''' Pole-Evans *''
Aloe africana ''Aloe africana'' (known as the Uitenhage Aloe) is an arborescent species of aloe plant, indigenous to the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Description The plant grows slowly and flowers when it is four to five years old. Flowering time is ...
'' Mill. *'' Aloe albida'' (Stapf) Reynolds *'''' Guillaumin *'''' Mill. *'''' Reynolds *'''' Merxm. & Giess *'' Aloe bakeri'' Scott-Elliot *'' Aloe ballii'' Reynolds *'' Aloe ballyi'' Reynolds *'''' Mill. *'''' Schönland *'' Aloe buettneri'' A.Berger *'' Aloe camperi'' Schweinf. *'' Aloe capitata'' Baker *'' Aloe comosa'' Marloth & A.Berger *'' Aloe cooperi'' Baker *'' Aloe corallina'' Verd. *'' Aloe dewinteri'' Giess ex Borman & Hardy *'''' D.S.Hardy *'''' A.Berger *''
Aloe ferox ''Aloe'' ( , ), also written ''Aloë'', is a genus containing over 550 species of flowering plant, flowering succulent plant, succulent plants.The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed J ...

Aloe ferox
'' Mill. *'' Aloe forbesii'' Balf.f. *'' Aloe helenae'' Danguy *'''' Engl. *''
Aloe inermis ''Aloe inermis'' is a small, stemless Aloe ''Aloe'' ( , ), also written ''Aloë'', is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the ...
'' Forssk. *'''' Christian *'' Aloe jawiyon'' S.J.Christie, D.P.Hannon & Oakman ex A.G.Mill. *'' Aloe jucunda'' Reynolds *'' Aloe khamiesensis'' Pillans *'' Aloe kilifiensis'' Christian *'''' All. *''
Aloe marlothii ''Aloe marlothii'' (also known as the mountain aloe or the flat-flowered aloe) is a large, single-stemmed Southern African aloe of rocky places and open flat country, occasionally growing up to 6m tall. Description Named after Rudolf Marloth ...

Aloe marlothii
'' A.Berger *'' Aloe mubendiensis'' Christian *'''' Giess *'' Aloe nyeriensis'' Christian & I.Verd. *'' Aloe pearsonii'' Schönland *'''' Schönland *''
Aloe perfoliata ''Aloe perfoliata'', the rubble aloe or mitre aloe, is a hardy creeping aloe, found in rocky, mountainous areas throughout the Western Cape, South Africa. Naming and classification ''Aloe perfoliata'' was formerly known as ''Aloe mitriformis''. ...
'' L. *'' Aloe perryi'' Baker *'' Aloe petricola'' Pole-Evans *'''' Pillans *'''' Reynolds *'''' Letty *'' Aloe scobinifolia'' Reynolds & Bally *'' Aloe sinkatana'' Reynolds *'''' Baker ex Balf.f. *''
Aloe striata ''Aloe striata'', with the common name coral aloe, is a small, stemless South African Aloe species. Distribution This species occurs quite widely over the southern parts of the Cape Floristic Region, in the Eastern Cape Province and Western Cape P ...

Aloe striata
'' Haw. *''
Aloe succotrina ''Aloe succotrina'', the Fynbos aloe, is an aloe ''Aloe'' ( , ), also written ''Aloë'', is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () ...
'' Lam. *'''' Decary *'''' Baker *''
Aloe vera#REDIRECT Aloe vera
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from incorrect capitalisation {{R from other capitalisation, plant ...

Aloe vera'' (L.) Burm.f. *'''' Reynolds *'' Aloe wildii'' (Reynolds) Reynolds In addition to the species and hybrids between species within the genus, several hybrids with other genera have been created in cultivation, such as between ''Aloe'' and ''
Gasteria ''Gasteria'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their ...
'' (''×Gasteraloe''), and between ''Aloe'' and ''Astroloba'' (''×Aloloba'').


Uses

Aloe species are frequently cultivated as ornamental plants both in gardens and in pots. Many aloe species are highly decorative and are valued by collectors of succulents. ''Aloe vera'' is used both internally and externally on humans as folk medicine, folk or alternative medicine, alternative medicine. The ''Aloe'' species is known for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. Around 75% of ''Aloe'' species are used locally for medicinal uses. The plants can also be made into types of special soaps or used in other skin care products (see natural skin care). Numerous cultivars with mixed or uncertain parentage are grown. Of these, ''Aloe'' ‘Lizard Lips’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. ''Aloe variegata'' has been planted on graves in the superstitious belief that this ensures eternal life.


Historical uses

Historical use of various aloe species is well documented. Documentation of the clinical effectiveness is available, although relatively limited. Of the 500+ species, only a few were used traditionally as herbal medicines, ''Aloe vera'' again being the most commonly used species. Also included are ''A. perryi'' and ''A. ferox''. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used ''Aloe vera'' to treat wounds. In the Middle Ages, the yellowish liquid found inside the leaves was favored as a purgative. Unprocessed aloe that contains aloin is generally used as a laxative, whereas processed juice does not usually contain significant aloin. Some species, particularly ''Aloe vera'', are used in alternative medicine and first aid. Both the translucent inner pulp and the resinous yellow aloin from wounding the aloe plant are used externally for skin discomforts. As an herbal medicine, ''Aloe vera'' juice is commonly used internally for digestive discomfort. According to Cancer Research UK, a potentially deadly product called T-UP is made of concentrated aloe, and promoted as a cancer cure. They say "there is currently no evidence that aloe products can help to prevent or treat cancer in humans".


Aloin in OTC laxative products

On May 9, 2002, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule banning the use of aloin, the yellow sap of the aloe plant, for use as a laxative ingredient in over-the-counter drug products. Most aloe juices today do not contain significant aloin.


Chemical properties

According to W. A. Shenstone, two classes of aloins are recognized: (1) nataloins, which yield picric acid, picric and oxalic acids with nitric acid, and do not give a red coloration with nitric acid; and (2) barbaloins, which yield aloetic acid (C7H2N3O5), chrysammic acid (C7H2N2O6), picric and oxalic acids with nitric acid, being reddened by the acid. This second group may be divided into a-barbaloins, obtained from Barbados ''Aloe'', and reddened in the cold, and b-barbaloins, obtained from ''Aloe Socotrina'' and Zanzibar ''Aloe'', reddened by ordinary nitric acid only when warmed or by fuming acid in the cold. Nataloin (2C17H13O7·H2O) forms bright-yellow scales, barbaloin (C17H18O7) Prism (geometry), prismatic crystals. ''Aloe'' species are used in essential oils as a safety measure to dilute the solution before they are applied to the skin.


Flavoring

''Aloe perryi'', ''A. barbadensis'', ''A. ferox'', and hybrids of this species with ''A. africana'' and ''A. spicata'' are listed as natural flavoring substances in the US government ''Electronic Code of Federal Regulations''. ''Aloe socotrina'' is said to be used in yellow Chartreuse (liqueur), Chartreuse.John Tellman (1900
''The Practical Hotel Steward''
The Hotel Monthly, Chicago


Heraldic occurrence

''Aloe rubrolutea'' occurs as a charge in heraldry, for example in the Civic Heraldry of Namibia.


Gallery

File:Aloe vossii - plant (aka).jpg, ''Aloe vossii'' File:Aloe rubroviolacea2.jpg, ''Aloe rubroviolacea, A. rubroviolacea'' File:Aloe africana 1.jpg, ''
Aloe africana ''Aloe africana'' (known as the Uitenhage Aloe) is an arborescent species of aloe plant, indigenous to the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Description The plant grows slowly and flowers when it is four to five years old. Flowering time is ...
'' (Uitenhage aloe) File:Gardenology-IMG 5394 hunt10mar.jpg, ''
Aloe marlothii ''Aloe marlothii'' (also known as the mountain aloe or the flat-flowered aloe) is a large, single-stemmed Southern African aloe of rocky places and open flat country, occasionally growing up to 6m tall. Description Named after Rudolf Marloth ...

Aloe marlothii
'' (flat-flowered aloe) File:Aloe pluridens (3).jpg, ''Aloe pluridens'' (French aloe) File:Aloe excelsa at Mount Coot-tha.JPG, '''' (Zimbabwe aloe) File:Aloe rupestris, vroeë bloeiwyse, Pretoria.jpg, ''Aloe rupestris'' (bottlebrush aloe) File:Aloe speciosa - tilt head aloe.jpg, ''Aloe hexapetala'' (tilt-headed aloe) File:Blooming aloes wide view alternate, with bright sun behind.jpg, Blooming '''' File:Aloe cooperi in flower IMG 1702e.JPG, ''Aloe cooperi'' (''Aloe plicatilis'' in background on the right) File:Aloe hereroensis Auob C15.JPG, '''' File:Aloe peglerae01.jpg, '''' File:Aloe saponaria 1.jpg, '''' - prev. ''A. saponaria'' (soap aloe) File:Aloe reitzii flowers.jpg, ''Aloe reitzii'' File:Комнатное алоэ.jpg, Room aloe


See also

* List of Aloe species, List of ''Aloe'' species * List of ineffective cancer treatments * List of Southern African indigenous trees


References


Further reading

* *


External links

{{Authority control Aloe, Plants used in Ayurveda Asphodelaceae genera Laxatives Cosmetics chemicals