|A. arborescens growing in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa|
Curtis's Botanical Magazine
|Distribution of Aloe arborescens|
Aloe arborescens (krantz aloe, candelabra aloe) is a species of flowering succulent perennial plant that belongs to the Aloe genus, which it shares with the well known and studied Aloe vera. This species is also relatively popular among gardeners and has recently been studied for possible medical uses.
Aloe arborescens is a large multi-headed sprawling succulent, its specific name indicating that it sometimes reaches tree size. Typical height for this species 2–3 metres (6.6–9.8 ft) high. Its leaves are succulent and are green with a slight blue tint. Its leaves are armed with small spikes along its edges and are arranged in rosettes situated at the end of branches. Flowers are arranged in a type of inflorescence called a raceme. The racemes are not branched but two to several can sprout from each rosette. Flowers are cylindrical in shape and are a vibrant red/orange color.
Aloe arborescens is endemic to the south eastern part of Southern Africa. Specifically, this range includes the countries of South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It has the third largest distribution amongst the aloe genus. Although Aloe arborescens has adapted to many different habitats, its natural habitat usually consists of mountainous areas including rocky outcrops and exposed ridges. Its common name krantz aloe refers to the Afrikaans word "krantz", which means a rocky cliff. Its habitat can vary and is one of only a few species of aloe that is found growing from sea level up to the tops of mountains.
Aloe arborescens is valued by gardeners for its architectural qualities, its succulent green leaves, large vibrantly-colored flowers, and winter blooming. The sweet nectar attracts birds, butterflies and bees. With a minimum temperature of 10 °C (50 °F), in temperate regions it is grown under glass. The cultivar A. arborescens 'Variegata' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
In Southern Africa, Aloe arborescens is traditionally planted around kraals (domestic stock enclosures) as a living fence or security hedge. It often happens that the position of old kraals can still be seen many years after they have been abandoned, because the aloes persist.
This aloe is easily propagated by cuttings. 
In a lab study conducted by Jia et al., wounds were induced in rat and rabbit test subjects and pulp from Aloe arborescens was applied to the wounds. Results showed that healing rates were improved in wounds addressed with Aloe arborescens. According to the study, applications of the Aloe arborescens extract “tended to significantly reduce the wound severity with respect to that with saline treatment.” the study found that Aloe arborescens can be used to reduce microbial growth. The study found that the application had “effectively inhibited the bacterial growth for four bacteria during the observation period of time”.
Lab results show that A. arborescens inhibits rat myeloma cell proliferation.
- Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
- Hankey, Andrew, and Alice Notten. "Aloe Arborescens." PlantZAfrica. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantab/aloearbor.htm>.
- "Aloe Arborescens." Aloes of the Huntington Gardens. Web. 29 Apr. 2010. <http://www.calflora.net/aloesofthehuntingtongardens/aloe_arborescens.html>.
- Reynolds, G.W. 1950. The aloes of Southern Africa. Balkema, Cape Town.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Aloe arborescens 'Variegata'". Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Jia, Y.; Zhao, G.; Jia, J. (2008). "Preliminary evaluation: The effects of Aloe ferox Miller and Aloe arborescens Miller on wound healing". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 120 (2): 181–189. PMID 18773950. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.08.008.
- Bedini, C.; Caccia, R.; Triggiani, D.; Mazzucato, A.; Soressi, G. P.; Tiezzi, A. (2009). "Micropropagation of Aloe arborescens Mill: A step towards efficient production of its valuable leaf extracts showing antiproliferative activity on murine myeloma cells". Plant Biosystems. 143 (2): 233. doi:10.1080/11263500902722402.
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