Aloe wilsonii is an evergreen, succulent perennial plant producing a compact rosette of leaves. It can be stemless, or with a decumbent stem 50 - 80cm long, sometimes suckering to form small groups[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use.
The sap of Aloe species contains anthraquinones. These compounds have several beneficial medicinal actions, particularly as a laxative, and many species of Aloe are thus employed in traditional medicine. Whilst safe in small doses and for short periods of time, anthraquinones do have potential problems if used in excess. These include congestion and irritation of the pelvic organs[
]. Long term use of anthraquinone laxatives may also play a role in development of colorectal cancer as they have genotoxic potential, and tumorigenic potential[
East tropical Africa - northern Uganda to northwestern Kenya.
Rocky slopes on fairly large soil pockets; narrow ledges on steep cliffs; at elevations from 1,525 - 3,000 metres[
Aloe species follow the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). CAM plants can fix carbon dioxide at night and photosynthesize with closed stomata during the day, thus minimizing water loss. This, plus their succulent leaves and stems, and the presence of a thick cuticle, makes them well adapted to dry conditions[
The exudate from the leaves is used externally to cure eye infections, headache and body pains, while an infusion of the whole plant is taken as an emetic[
The pounded roots and leaves are applied to aching teeth[
The leaf exudate is yellow and turns brownish when drying[
The distinctive constituents in Aloe leaves are phenolic compounds, including chromone, anthraquinone or anthrone derivatives. Some of the compounds are found in many species, whereas others occur in only a few[
Seed - we have no specific information on this species - in general Aloes are sown in a sandy, well-drained potting soil in a warm, shady position in standard seed trays. Germination takes about three weeks. Cover the seed with a thin layer of sand (1 - 2mm), keep moist. The seedlings can be planted out in individual bags or containers as soon as they are large enough to handle[
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