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Barbados aloe, burn plant, Curaçao aloe, medicinal aloe, unguentine cactus

Habit Plants short-stemmed, woody-based, stoloniferous.

to 50 cm; scarious leaf sheaths persistent.


alternate, rosulate to distichous, 10–50 × 10–70 cm;

blade glaucous-green to variegated with small white or glaucous dots, irregular bands, or blotches, often reddish near apex or margins, lanceolate to ensate, tapering from base to apex, glabrous, margins green, spiny-toothed, teeth 1–1.5 cm apart.


terminal, usually unbranched, racemose, 10–15 dm, usually covered with scalelike bracts;

racemes cylindrical, dense, 0.5 m;

bracts glabrous or puberulent, with 3 prominent purple veins that are confluent at tips.


perianth yellow;

tepals prominently 3-veined, connate basally for 1/2 their length, lobes broadly linear to oblong-lanceolate, apex rounded;

stamens 6, included to slightly exserted, slightly unequal;

filaments 2–2.5 cm;

anthers 2.5–4 mm;

style usually exserted;

stigmas not expanded;

pedicel 2.2–3.3 cm.


somewhat elongate.


= 14.

Aloe vera

Phenology Flowering spring–winter, occasionally at other times.
Habitat Hammocks, sandy areas, roadsides, and similar places in full sun
Elevation 0 and 1300 m (0 and 4300 ft)
from FNA
AZ; FL; TX; Mediterranean region and Atlantic islands (Canary, Madeira, and Cape Verde) [Introduced in North America]
[BONAP county map]

This is the aloe of commerce and source of bitter aloe. Most of the world’s supply is grown in southern Texas and adjacent northwestern Mexico and the West Indies. The species is thought to be native to the Atlantic islands and is widely used as an indoor ornamental. It is often cultivated outdoors in the southwestern United States, where it occasionally escapes.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 26, p. 411.
Parent taxa Aloaceae > Aloe
Sibling taxa
A. ×schonlandii
Synonyms A. perfoliata var. vera, A. barbadensis
Name authority (Linnaeus) Burman f.: Fl. Indica, 83. (1768)
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