Aloe and the Bee

Richard G Witham

Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

Aloe Vera Blossom Photographed in Palmview, TX
Olympus E-3; 70-300mm lens @ 200mm, 1/80 @ f/6.3, ISO 200

Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed plant growing to 60–100 cm (24–39 in) tall, spreading by offsets. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces. The margin of the leaf is serrated and has small white teeth. The flowers are produced in summer on a spike up to 90 cm (35 in) tall, each flower being pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2–3 cm (0.8–1.2 in) long,

The natural range of A. vera is unclear, as the species has been widely cultivated throughout the world. Naturalised strands of the species occur in the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula, through North Africa (Morocco, Mauritania, Egypt), as well as Sudan and neighbouring countries, along with the Canary, Cape Verde, and Madeira Islands. This distribution is somewhat similar to that of Euphorbia balsamifera, Pistacia atlantica, and a few others, suggesting that a dry sclerophyll forest once covered large areas, but has been dramatically reduced due to desertification in the Sahara, leaving these few patches isolated. Several closely related (or sometimes identical) species can be found on the two extreme sides of the Sahara: dragon trees (Dracaena) and Aeonium being two of the most representative examples.

The species was introduced to China and various parts of southern Europe in the 17th century. The species is widely naturalized elsewhere, occurring in temperate and tropical regions of Australia, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southeastern US states. The actual species’ distribution has been suggested to be the result of human cultivation.
(Wikipedia):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe_vera

Artwork Comments

  • Barbara Burkhardt
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