Cultivated plant at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, USA
Photograph by: Ryan Somma
Aloe globuligemma is an evergreen, succulent, perennial plant producing a dense, usually stemless, rosette of leaves. The plant usually suckers freely to form a large, dense clump[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use.
The sap of this species is poisonous and is known to have caused death. Plants differ in toxicity, the more toxic forms smell of rats, which indicates the presence of the hemlock alkaloid gamma-coniceine[
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[
Southern Africa - Zimbabwe, Botswana. S. Africa.
Hot dry areas, often in large colonies, in bare or sparsely grassed places, often in eroded areas and in open deciduous woodland at elevations from 600 - 1,325 metres[
Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[
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[
A leaf infusion is taken traditionally to relieve stomach-ache, as a cure for venereal diseases and as an abortifacient, although abortifacient activity of the infusion could not be demonstrated in tests[
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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