Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Soap Aloe

Soap Aloe (Aloe Saponaria) is a native of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It grows very easily in the Southern Arizona desert climate and is a favourite of desert gardeners. The sap from the juicy leaves makes suds in water and can be used as a soap substitute. Some people find the sap irritating to the skin. Scientists in Argentina are exploring the effects of the mannan of this aloe to improve normal cells and inhibit the activation of cancer cells .

Hummingbirds love its bright tubular flowers.

These photos were taken at Agua Caliente Park in Tucson. The brown colour of the leaves show the effects of the drought this past winter, but it didn't deter the aloes from blooming.

6 comments:

Jimmy said...

Beautiful Flowers...never heard of this plant before. Learned something new...Thanks

LauraHinNJ said...

Oh I can see why the hummers like them so much! I'm very jealous of all your exotic desert plants.

robin andrea said...

I've always wondered what those were called. So different from other aloe plants.

tai haku said...

not surprised the hummers love these Pam, in South Africa the sunbirds were big fans of 'em.

Endment said...

What lovely color... I can feel it's warmth right out of my computer monitor.

lené said...

How cool to see an aloe bloom!