Most of us are familiar with Aloe vera, the fleshy, succulent plant commonly grown as a houseplant in Britain and used to treat minor skin ailments such as scalds and sunburn. But did you know the Aloe genus contains more than 500 species? These shrubby, succulent plants are native to Africa, Madagascar and Arabia – several of them can be grown here as houseplants while some hardier species can even be grown outside in summer.
Most aloes have a rosette of sharp, pointed fleshy leaves, often with spots or spines, along with occasional yellow or red flowers. They look beautiful grown as part of a cacti and succulent display – both in the house and outside in gravel gardens and summer succulent displays.