Aloe ferox, also known as Cape Aloe, Bitter Aloe, Red Aloe and Tap Aloe, is a species of aloe indigenous to South Africa's Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, and Lesotho. It is one of several Aloe species used to make bitter aloes, a purgative medication, and also yields a non-bitter gel that can be used in cosmetics.
Aloe ferox can grow to 10 feet (3.0 m) in height, and can be found on rocky hills, in grassy fynbos and on the edges of the Karoo. The plants may differ physically from area to area due to local conditions. Its leaves are thick and fleshy, arranged in rosettes, and have reddish-brown spines on the margins with smaller spines on the upper and lower surfaces. Its flowers are orange or red, and stand between 2 and 4 feet (0.61 and 1.2 m) above the leaves.
Aloe ferox plants are propagated mainly from seed and head cuttings, with plants sowed with approximately one meter separations. From seed, it takes about 4 to 5 years for the plants to reach the first harvest. At the time of harvest, each leaf weighs about 1.5 kg to 2 kg. Aloe ferox prefers dry-tropical climates, open areas, sandy-loamy soils, full sun, and moderate watering with a good drainage system.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aloe ferox.|
- "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
- "Aloe ferox". Floridata. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
- "The Aloe ferox Plant". Aloe Ferox Africa. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
- "Aloe ferox Mill.". PlantzAfrica. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009.
- "Aloe ferox, African Flowering Plants Database". South African National Biodiversity Institute. Retrieved 14 May 2009.