herb of the week

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

This mildly spiky suc­cu­lent grows as a rosette. Clumps grow to about 60cm tall. The leaves are grey-green and stri­ated with pale mark­ings. They are thick and fleshy and ooze a clear, gel-like sub­stance when cut. It bears yel­low tubu­lar flow­ers in sum­mer and be­longs to the lily fam­ily. It prob­a­bly orig­i­nated in north Africa. Aloe vera is eas­ily prop­a­gated from off­sets from an es­tab­lished plant. The plant re­quires a well-drained po­si­tion, pro­tected from hot lateafter­noon sun and needs more wa­ter than many suc­cu­lents, but it can­not cope with be­ing wa­ter-logged. Aloe vera gel has al­ways been highly prized as a treat­ment for mi­nor burns. It can also be used to soothe sun­burn and other skin af­flic­tions.

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