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Aloe Gardening

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Aloe is a genus of approximately 400 species of succulent flowering plants belonging to the family Asphodelacea. Aloe vera or "true aloe" is the most popular of the aloe species. Aloes are found chiefly in Africa and are common in South Africa's Cape Province, tropical Africa's mountains, islands of Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and neighboring areas including Madagascar.

With succulent leaves typically appearing in rosettes, aloes resemble agaves but with thicker foliage; though they are not related. Often lance-shaped, aloe leaves have a sharp apex and a spiny margin. Aloe flowers on the other hand, are spikes of showy tubular flowers with (usually) yellow, pink, or red colors borne on top of simple or branched leafless stems.

Aloe species are often cultivated as potted plants in homes or grown on the ground in gardens. Some species are also used for medical purposes. The aloe vera in particular is used internally and externally. The gel extracted from the succulent leaves can be made into a cream to soothe minor burns while juice obtained from the plant are used to address various digestive conditions.
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