There are 400 species of Aloe like Aloe angelica, Aloe arborescens, Aloe aristata, Aloe barberae, Aloe nobilis, Aloe variegata but Aloe vera which is also known as True Aloe (Vera means true in Latin) is the species which is used widely. It is also known as Barbados Aloe, Common Aloe, Yellow Aloe, Medicinal Aloe.
Aloe Vera is a perennial, drought-resisting, succulent plant belonging
to the Lily (Liliaceae) family. It is a stem less or very short-stemmed
plant growing to 80-100 cm tall, spreading by offsets and root sprouts.
The leaves are lanceolate, thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with a
serrated margin. The flowers are produced on a spike up to 90 cm tall,
each flower pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2-3 cm long. It
flourishes in warm and dry climates, and to many people it looks like a
cactus with fleshy thorny leaves. It stays moist where other plants wither
and die by closing its pores to prevent moisture loss.
It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.