Saturday, April 13, 2013

Aloe vera - Key to Immortality?

Aloe vera blossoms
I went to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb conservatory  a couple of weeks ago and was surprised to see the Aloe vera (barbadensis) blooming. I had never seen it bloom, but had seen other aloes bloom, so I'm not sure why I was surprised. It is a beautiful yellow flower.
The aloe vera, was known by the Egyptians as the "plant of immortality"  due to its many uses. As a plant lover who is not a very good cook and a hot glue gun addict, I always have one around for the occasional burn I receive. It is amazing how much better it makes a burn feel.
Aloe vera is native to North Africa, Sudan, and the Canary, Cape Verde, and Madeira Islands. It is most often used for burns, cosmetics, moisturizers, and in some food products. Over 10 countries grow Aloe vera in large scale agricultural production for the cosmetics industry. Imagine a whole field of these blooming!

It is a beautiful succulent plant, regardless of how it makes my blisters feel. I hope mine blooms like this someday.
Aloe vera at the Belle Isle Conservatory
Aloe vera like we usually see it.

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