Aloe ferox by Maree  Clarkson
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Camera : Fuji Finepix 2800Zoom

The aloe seemed to ride like a ship with the oars lifted. Bright moonlight hung upon the lifted oars like water, and on the green wave glittered the dew.
- Beauchamp, Bliss and Other Stories, ‘Prelude’
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See my SATURDAY CHAT on ’Indigenous Flowers of South Africa"

Last Spring I noticed that the Black Sunbirds were all visiting this Aloe (Aloe ferox, Bitter Aloe) in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Afrca), and the reason was soon apparent – it was fairly dripping with nectar! The flowers always seem to produce the most nectar just as they’re getting to the end of their life-span. It’s their special gift to nature.

This hardy plant, indigenous to South Africa, 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 moisturizers 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.

“Schwedenbitters”, which is found in many pharmacies, contains bitter aloe. The gel-like flesh from the inside of the leaves is used in cosmetic products and is reported to have wound healing properties. Interestingly Aloe ferox, along with Aloe broomii, is depicted in a rock painting which was painted over 250 years ago.

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…?
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  1. 27th March 2011 – FEATURED in Mozambique
  2. 15th March 2012 – FEATURED in Country Bumpkin
  3. 16th March 2012 – FEATURED in the Weekend Photographer
  4. 23rd June 2012 – FEATURED in The Best of Anything & Everything

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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Comments

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotabout 4 years ago

    An outstanding plant and an outstanding capture, Maree!

  • Thanks Dottie, I just LOVE my Aloes!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallabout 4 years ago

    So lieflik!

  • Dankie Liz!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Olitto
    Olittoabout 4 years ago

    Mooi geneem, Maree. ’n Alwyn is een van daai plante wat my vinnig “tuis” laat voel waar ek ookal is….seker omdat hier so baie op ons plaas groei waarvan sommige al baie oud is.

  • Dankie Olitto. Weet jy hoe oud hulle word? Ek het geen idee nie, maar ek het hierdies van my amper 10 jaar terug geplant en ek huil my dood as iets met hulle gebeur!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Olitto
    Olittoabout 4 years ago

    Maree, ek is onseker, maar ’n “plant-kenner” van een of ander aard was eendag hier op ons plaas. Hy reken dat baie van die plante (spesies wat hier by die 3m en selfs oor die 3m hoog staan) is al oor ’n honderd jaar oud. Ek sal bietjie gaan google daarvoor.

  • Sjoe, dis wonderlik. en ek kan dit goed glo, hulle hou net aan groei en groei!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Marsha Elliott
    Marsha Elliottabout 4 years ago

    I’m familiar with the aloe plant, but have never seen it bloom like this….never even knew it did. Just beautiful!

  • Oh my word Marsha, that’s terrible! (lol!) But jokes aside, they make a beautiful display when you have batches of them together, absolutely stunning! thanks for taking a look, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Nataliya Stoyanova
    Nataliya Stoya...about 4 years ago

    What a a handsome!It is not surprising that you draw such beautiful watercolors, you live in a beautiful place

  • Aaah, thank you! They are gorgeous Nataliya and I will be putting up a sketch I did of this one.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Nataliya Stoyanova
    Nataliya Stoya...about 4 years ago

    I wish you success! I look forward to your pictures.

  • Thank you Nataliya!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesabout 4 years ago


    WELL DONE!

  • Ah, how GREAT is this Magriet! THANK YOU for the feature, I’m realy thrilled!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallover 3 years ago

    25 Sept. 2011.

  • Uiters wonderlik Liz! Baie dankie aan diegene wat gestem het, waardeer dit baie!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Lori Peters
    Lori Petersabout 3 years ago

    Beautiful work..

  • This is really great Lori! Thank you for the feature, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

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