Aloe vera (L.)Burm. f.
Aloe perfoliata var. barbadensis L.
al-OH per-foh-lee-AY-tuh var. bar-buh-DEN-sis
Aloe barbadensis Mill.
Very few plants have the same scientific name and common name.
Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Aloe. It was described by this name by Nicholas Laurens Burman in Flora Indica in 1768.
It was FIRST described as Aloe perfoliata var. barbadensis by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. He also named and described Aloe perfoliata in the same publication.
It was also named Aloe barbadensis Mill. by Philip Miller in the 8th edition of Garden Dictionary in 1768. This is the scientific name mostly used for “Aloe Vera” until 2009 or 2010. Well, except for the people who were calling it Aloe vera all along…
Plants of the World Online list 10 synonyms for Aloe vera, but I have seen up to 17 on other websites.
I was given three offsets by a good friend of mine in Leland, Mississippi in 2010. I didn’t know what species it was, I just knew its common name was Aloe Vera. So, I called the plants Aloe Vera ‘Mary Botler, naming after my good friend. Later I found out the species name was Aloe barbadensis. Then, when I was making my first Belmont Rooster blog in 2013, I noticed the species name had officially become Aloe vera and Aloe barbadensis was officially a synonym.
One interesting thing I learned about the Aloe vera right off was their weird offsets. The leaves of the other Aloe species and hybrids I was growing grew in kind of a spiral forming a rosette. In the juvenile stage, the leaves of the Aloe vera grew on opposite sides. They grew quite a few before one decides to do its own thing, then the rest follow that pattern. I like my plants to stand up so I decided to use stakes or rocks to keep the Aloe vera offsets standing up until they developed a good root system…
After a while, I realized trying to make them stand up was no use. They like to lay down which brought about another problem… The pots would get heavy on one side and could possibly turn over if it was too windy. Luckily this seldom happened.
One thing is for sure, the Aloe vera rivaled the Aloe maculata in producing an abundance of offsets. Like the Aloe maculata and Agave, I removed the offsets and numbered every pot and kept a record of their growth and who I gave them to.
Many people grow Aloe vera plants and keep the offsets in the pots and hardly ever remove them. I never saw anyone else’s plants grow as huge as mine did. Mary came over sometimes for a visit and was always amazed at how huge mine were compared to hers. Well, I did have a secret…
I think one thing that helped them grow bigger was removing the offsets. The other was the potting soil. I used Miracle Grow as the main ingredient but I also added worm dirt, soil conditioner (basically small pieces of bark I used to get from Lowe’s), twigs and decaying bark from the oak trees. The reason I did this was because that’s what I used with the Aloe maculata and they also grew HUGE. They both have large root systems, unlike most succulents, so I thought that maybe they would do well in more organic matter.
I could write a long lengthy description about the Aloe vera, but information is easily found online. The Aloe vera is probably the most widely grown Aloe species in the world for its many medicinal uses, internally and externally. I have read that the true origin of the Aloe vera is unknown because they have naturalized in MANY parts of the world for so long.
Back inside for the winter again…
I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013. I had sold the mansion to a group of folks that bought it and turned it into a nice bed and breakfast. I had to leave behind several hundred plants but I did bring most of my succulents. Choosing which Aloe vera to bring was tough, but I couldn’t bring the larger, original plants with me. SO, I chose a good sized offset.
I found a new way to get the offsets to stand up. I found a deep pot, put the offset in and only filled the pot about halfway with soil. That way the sides of the pot held the plant straight up. 🙂
Still looking awesome and growing well and almost ready for a new pot.
I had to move the plants inside for the winter when temps started getting cold. Strangely enough, the Aloe did very well in the cool basement in front of a window over the winter. I found out they did better there than upstairs in a warm room in front of the window. Ummm… Yes, that is Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) in the pot behind the Aloe vera. I eventually gave in and put them in the ground…
Back outside again and in a new pot.
The above photo is the last one of my Aloe vera ‘Mary Botler’. I gave up most of my plants a little while after this photo was taken and had to start over. I STILL haven’t brought home another one.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.