Saturday, June 16, 2012
My aloes (this is Aloe ferox, also known as Bitter aloe) have started flowering and I'm beside myself with joy! Last year I had no flowers, an early frost annihilated the lot just as the buds started. I actually know what the problem is - since I planted them 7 years ago, the trees surrounding them have grown huge, resulting in a lot of shade. So I have two options - cut down the trees (no ways!) or move the aloes to full sun, which is going to be a huge task. As you can see from the photo below, they are very big and I'm not looking forward to this mammoth task. Wouldn't it be easier to lose them (sob, sob!) and just plant new ones in a sunny spot...?
So I'm hoping for no severe frost this winter. They're a bit big to try and cover with frost covers...
This hardy plant is indigenous to South Africa, and with its succulent leaves can survive the harshest conditions. When damaged by man or animal, the plant seals off any wound with a sticky, dark liquid that prevents infestation by virus, fungus or insect. This dark liquid has been successfully used by ancient inhabitants as a traditional remedy for many ailments.
The white inner gel of the leaf has the ability to hold and store moisture through hot, dry conditions and months of drought. Traditionally the local inhabitants use it to soothe burn wounds, cuts and abrasions. Today those same qualities are still the being used in a wide range of moisturisers and rejuvenating creams and gels.
The nutrient rich leaf is filled with the goodness of the earth and contains no herbicides or pesticide making it an ideal source of nutrients and helping your body to cope with modern day living in a gentle and natural way.
The bitter aloe is most famous for its medicinal qualities. In parts of South Africa, the bitter yellow juice found just below the skin has been harvested as a renewable resource for two hundred years. The hard, black, resinous product is known as Cape aloes or aloe lump and is used mainly for its laxative properties but is also taken for arthritis.
The Aloe is winter-flowering and did you know that they flower in mid-summer in France, when it's Winter time here in South Africa? Isn't nature's clock just amazing...?
Camera : Canon EOS 550D