If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Aloe zebrina

Baker

Asphodelaceae

+ Synonyms

Aloe ammophila Reynolds

Aloe angustifolia Groenew.

Aloe bamangwatensis Schönland

Aloe baumii Engl. & Gilg

Aloe constricta Baker

Aloe komatiensis Reynolds

Aloe laxissima Reynolds

Aloe lettyae Reynolds

Aloe lugardiana Baker

Aloe platyphylla Baker

Aloe transvaalensis Kuntze

Aloe vandermerwei Reynolds

Common Name:

Aloe zebrina
Flowering plant
Photograph by: Peter A. Mansfeld
Creative Commons License
Aloe zebrina Aloe zebrina Aloe zebrina

General Information

Aloe zebrina is a spiny, evergreen, succulent plant forming a compact rosette of spreading leaves; it grows 15 - 30cm tall. It is usually stemless, but can have a short stem. The plant often suckers freely to form large, dense groups[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
,
663
Title
Flora of Southern Africa
Publication
 
Author
Roux J.P.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=662545
Publisher
 
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line resource.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of edible flowers and dyestuff. Like many other Aloe species, this plant has ornamental value and potential for cultivation in arid to semi-arid, frost-free locations[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Some Aloe spp. Are extracted from wild sources for their various uses, but this is not thought to be a major threat to this species at present. Sustainable wild harvesting or cultivation protocols should be investigated. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

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[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Long term use of anthraquinone laxatives may also play a role in development of colorectal cancer as they have genotoxic potential, and tumorigenic potential[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
,
663
Title
Flora of Southern Africa
Publication
 
Author
Roux J.P.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=662545
Publisher
 
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line resource.

Range

Southern tropical Africa - Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe.

Habitat

Grassland and open Brachystegia and mopane woodland at elevations from 200 - 1,600 metres[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
]. Dry thickets and marshy meadows on river banks[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.25 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Temperatures are usually high in the summer but may, in parts of its range, become very low in winter[
663
Title
Flora of Southern Africa
Publication
 
Author
Roux J.P.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=662545
Publisher
 
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line resource.
]. The plant can probably tolerate light frosts[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
]. Rainfall in the distribution area of this species is high in the extreme northwest, but low elsewhere, with a summer maximum throughout[
663
Title
Flora of Southern Africa
Publication
 
Author
Roux J.P.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=662545
Publisher
 
Year
2003
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line resource.
].
Prefers a position in full sun, but can tolerate light shade[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
The plants sucker freely and can form dense groups, although differences exist between populations. The roots can easily be collected on a sustainable basis because plants easily form new roots, provided they are left to grow again[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
For dyeing Hyphaene palm fibres, the roots are collected from the wild, preferably on a small scale, and boiled with the weaving material until a golden-yellow colour is obtained[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. In Ethiopia, the leaves of Aloe sp. (‘sete ret’) are chopped and boiled in water with white cloth until it is dyed red[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
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[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

Flowers and flower buds - raw or cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
393
Title
Flora and Fauna of Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.gateway-africa.com/fuanaflora/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains photos and basic information on the plant and its uses. So far just over 70 species appear on the site, though they say that it is a work in progress.
,
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
]. They can be boiled, pressed and made into cakes[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The flowers can be cooked lightly, the moisture squeezed out of them, and then dried in the sun to a stiff paste - this stores for quite some time and bits can simply be broken off and added to other dishes as required[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

The sweet nectar is eaten[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

The juicy leaves are used as a masticatory[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

The pulpy gel-like makerial in the leaves is taken internally to treat stomach problems[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
]. The (bitter) juice of this and many other Aloe species is used as a powerful purgative and worm expellant, as a disinfectant for wounds, and to treat skin problems including conjunctivitis[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Applied externally, the gel is used to treatburns, skin ailments and eye ailments[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

A decoction of the powdered stem and leaf bases is taken orally twice a day by women after delivery to cleanse the system[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The yellow leaf sap of most Aloe species contains anthrone C-glycosides such as aloin and homonataloin, and the yellow root sap anthranoid aglycones such as chrysophanol (a fast orange-brown colorant) and asphodeline[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The roots of this species also contain aloesaponarin, aloesaponol and related compounds of the 1-methyl-8-hydroxyanthraquinone pathway[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Isoleutherol is a unique chemical compound found in the roots of this and other species of spotted aloes[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

The roots are one of the main dyes for the Hyphaene palm fibres used in basketry weaving in southern Africa, giving a golden-yellow colour to the fibres. They have also been adopted for wool dyeing by Europeans, who introduced the use of metallic mordants such as alum to obtain more intense, fast colours[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

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[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2021-03-07. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Aloe+zebrina>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.