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Aloe Vera

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This aloe vera type is medicinal (leaves are stacked, do not grow significantly thicker with age, tend to keep an upright habit, and have dots that remain through leaf maturity)

Edible aloe vera is distinctly different. The edible variety has leaves that grow in a circular rosette, they are gray/green, they are very thick and get thicker with age, the white markings that appear on young leaves disappear as the leaves get older. DONT try to eat aloe unless it fits with this description AND you are absolutely sure it is edible.

There are nearly 600 types of aloe vera growing around the world. While they are all beautiful, there are also several poisonous varieties. 

The most common type of aloe that is kept as a houseplant is also the medicinal kind. You will instantly recognize it when you see it but it comes by many names.

Medicinal aloe vera is also called:

  • Aloe barbandensis
  • Aloe vera var. Barbandensis
  • Aloe vera barbandensis Miller
  • Barbados aloe
  • True aloe
  • True aloe vera

Today, this aloe plant is mostly referred to as just aloe vera. You can find it all around the world, from market stalls to plant shops – even supermarkets sell the long leaves.


Description from: Grow Your Yard

Photo from: Deep Green Permaculture