Aloe angustifolia Haw.
Aloe bolusii Baker
Aloe perfoliata africana (Mill.) Aiton
Aloe pseudoafricana Salm-Dyck
Pachidendron africanum (Mill.) Haw.
Pachidendron angustifolium (Haw.) Haw.
Aloe africana is a succulent, single-stemmed, evergreen shrub usually growing up to 2 metres tall but exceptionally to 4 metres[
]. The stem is usually simple, but is occasionally branched at the base[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens[
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[
Africa - S. Africa in Cape Province.
Mainly confined to hills and flats, growing in thicket and renosterveld vegetation[
]. Sandy soil in coastal and valley bushveld[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the arid subtropics. It is found in areas where the climate is moderate, without frost, and is hot and humid during the summers. Rainfall occurs throughout the year, with an average of 600 - 700mm per annum[
]. Plants can tolerate occasional, short-lived, light frosts[
Prefers a position in full sun[
].Tolerant of poor soils[
]. Requires a well-drained, sandy soil[
]. Thrives in windy coastal gardens[
Plants produced from seed grow slowly and reach the flowering stage in 4 - 5 years[
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[
]. No moe information is given.
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 - sow in a sandy, well-drained potting soil in a warm, shady position in standard seed trays. Germination takes about three weeks. Cover with a thin layer of sand (1 - 2mm), keep moist and the seedlings can be planted out in individual bags or containers as soon as they are large enough to handle[
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