Aloe ferox white - Bitter Aloe - 5 seeds
Aloe ferox white is an attractive form of Aloe ferox and found in Kwazulu-Natal, the eastern part of South Africa. This used to be known as Aloe candelabrum and has subsequently been included in the species. The bitter aloe will reach 2-3 metres in height with the leaves arranged in a rosette. The old leaves remain after they have dried, forming a petticoat on the stem. The leaves are a dull green, sometimes with a slightly blue look to them. They may also have a reddish tinge. The Aloe ferox white form has an elegant shape with the leaf tips curving slightly downwards. The spines along the leaf edge are reddish in colour. Spines may also be present on upper and lower surfaces of the leaves as well. Young plants tend to be very spiny. The bitter aloe is most famous for its medicinal qualities. In parts of South Africa, the bitter yellow juice found just below the skin has been harvested as a renewable resource for two hundred years. The hard, black, resinous product is known as Cape aloes or aloe lump and is used mainly for its laxative properties but is also taken for arthritis. Schwedenbitters which is found in many pharmacies contains bitter aloe. The gel-like flesh from the inside of the leaves is used in cosmetic products and is reported to have wound healing properties.