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An Exotic
World of Plants

The Plants
of the Palm House

Aloë ferox

English name: Cape aloe/Red aloe

Latin name: Aloë Ferox

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae – Xanthorrhoeaceae

Origin: South Africa

This succulent plant grows up to 3 metres in height, and occasionally to 5 metres. Its large leaves are fleshy, abound with juice, and have barbed serrated leaves.  The grey-green leaves grow up to 1 metre in a plume at the top of the trunk. The reddish-orange, pipe-shaped flowers grow in an oblong complex, up to 3.5 cm. long. The inflorescence may reach a height of 80 cm.

Apart from its function as a decorative plant, this aloe is used to create spiny hedges that provide protection from predators. When the spines are removed, the leaves provide good animal feed.

Aloe pulp also contains many medicinal ingredients.  Its juice, extracted from the leaves, is commercially produced and concentrated. It is a very strong laxative; in large doses, however, there are possible side effects such as a blood build-up in the pelvic and colon areas, and it has been linked to miscarriages. The juice from the leaf pulp is sometimes effective in treating burns. In addition, the juice stimulates the production of bile. Fresh aloe leaves contain a number of healthy mucus substances and biogenic stimulators.

Aloë ferox