Houston, W - Aloe succotrina

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Above: Fynbos Aloe(plants.usda.gov)


            I choose to research and write my plant webpage about aloe, because it is a plant that I have always owned and used in my life. It is a very useful plant to keep around ones house. I was introduced to it as a healer for the skin, it was soothing on sunburns when I was a kid. The common name of the above Aloe plant is Fynbos Aloe.

            The botanical name is Aloe succotrina All. The aloe plant is a type of succulent that seems to grow in semi tropical to dry arid areas of the united states, As a house plant it doesn’t need much care, keep it in the sunlight and water it once in a while and the plant will do wonderful. It will be there as a medicinal plant to be used and enjoyed. The aloe plant is not a rare plant, is a very common house plant and it grows farley well in some of the Southern United states.






The range of aloe in the United States(plants.usda.gov)



    The aloe plant is technically an invasive species, it came from Africa and then moved to Europe, them to its next destination, the United States. The plant does not like rich soil it prefers well drained rocky soil were it has room to expand its roots and start new plants. This being said Fynbos Aloe is a Monocot, it reproduces from its self but it also has a flowering period that takes about three years to get to once a new plants has begun growing.

            The Fynbos Aloe plant is a perennial, meaning that it grows well over two years, and can live much longer than that if it avoids being eaten by beattles or burned in a fire. The area that the aloe tends to do well in tend to have brush fires because of the dry rocky soil that it like to grow in. However the aloe plants has a mechanism for avoiding the fires partially. The aloe plants tries to grow between large rocks where it is isolated from other flammable organic materials that burn easily.


    Aloe succotrina lam also known as Fynbos aloe is a medicinal plant species that’s native ecosystem is the Western Cape of South Africa.  The native biomes for which Fynbos aloe originated in consist of three, they are Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and Scrub; Deserts, and Xeric Shrublands; as well as Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas and Shrublands.  Fynbos aloe thrives in rocky mountainous areas where the soil drains fast and has low nutrient levels comparative to many other plants that require much higher levels of nutrient to thrive.


    Fynbos aloe spread to the European continent in the 1600’s, more specifically Amsterdam.  This is where is was first cultivated and made known as a medicinal plant species.  As a cultivated plant it was then brought to the new America as a medicinal house plant.  Fynbos aloe grows wild in many areas of the Southern United States where people plant it and the climate is right for it grow.  Some of the states where Fynbos aloe thrive are California, Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.  The Biomes where Fynbos aloe has taken off throughout the United States consist of three, Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands; Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub; and Deserts and Xeric Shrublands. 


    Fynbos aloe generally grows to be about three feet tall but can reach heights of near five feet.  It grows in a cluster like style with thick fleshy stalks the reach out from the center.  The stalks are a light or pale green, lined on the edges with spines to deter predators.  The aloe plant is monocot which means it sends out runners under or along the ground where it looks to anchor a cluster to begin a new plant.  This generally occurs where there is a sandy spot between rocks or an area of fractured rock where organic matter has collected and the runners can begin to grow upward.  The aloe plant tends to also grow in area where there is sandstone and quartz.   Aloe’s predator is the aloe snout weevil which is a large beetle, the larva of the weevil is what eats the tops of the Aloe plant.






1) Better Nutrition. July2005. Aloe+Skin, better Nutrition. Vol 67, Issue 7,



2) Stewart A. Jan 2008 Plant a Healing Garden in Your house, Health Vol. 22,



 3) National Resources Conservation Service

plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?keywordquery=fynbos+aloe Accessed

2008 feb 18th


4) Dictionary.com references.com/browse/wiki/aloe_succotrina



5) Olson, D. 2001 November. Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth. BioScience:vol 51 Pg 934




6) Jaarsveld, Ernst. Aloe Succotrina Lam.www.plantsafrica.com/plants/aloesuccot.html. march 2, 2008