Sunday, February 10, 2013

Plant of the Day

Aloe vera

Today's plant is the succulent Aloe vera. Aloe have thick, serrated "leaves" and rather shallow root systems for their size. They are well-known  for the gel within their leaves, which can be used for treating burns or making drinks and desserts. Aloe vera plants are very drought tolerant and grow well in most soils, making them very popular as house plants.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera are also easy to propagate, since most species naturally form 'pups' that grow from the roots of the 'mother' plant; these pups can be separated and will grow into genetically identical plants. However, because of this vegetative propagation, it can be difficult to find a suitable pair of plants for pollination since they are not self-fertile. 

There are hundreds of Aloe species out there, but only a handful are used for medicinal and consumer purposes. We have a small collection of Aloe here in the greenhouse. 

"Buena Creek"

"Golden Tooth"

"Blue Elf"

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