Help Identifying An Aloe Plant

Posted on May 3 2010 - 3:18am by Mike Lieberman

While hiking in the LA mountains this weekend with my girlfriend (roommate), I was noticing the vegetation on the side of the trails. It got me thinking about something that I read by Fern Richardson of Life On The Balcony about growing aloe indoors over the winter.

She mentioned that you can cut off the “pups”, replant them and grow a whole new aloe plant. I assume that a “pup” is an aloe leaf that’s cut off from the plant.

As we were hiking, I pulled the leaf off of an aloe plant to plant on my balcony garden. Before I get it planted and eat the thing, I did a little research on any potential dangers of eating aloe plants. Of course there are some species that aren’t meant for consumption.

To be safe, I want to make sure the leaf that I have won’t make me dead when I eat it. The bottom part of the leaf is white, and it’s green until close to the tip where it starts to change to a rust color. The prickly edges of the leaf are a yellow color and the underside is completely green.

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Growing my own aloe plant is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while to use in smoothies and juices. Aloe is supposed to have all kinds of nutritional benefits, but it’s also mad expensive to buy in the store at $3-4 leaf.

Does anyone know what species of aloe this might be and if I’ll die if I eat it?


13 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. glendasplace May 3, 2010 at 10:23 am -

    i believe that the pups they are talking about are the off shoots from the plant and not the leaf itself i have a big area of aloe that grows these little shoots all the time.

  2. Botany Buddy May 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm -

    I don't know the variety off hand, but a pup is a sucker or sprout that comes up next to the mother plant off the roots. The leaf probably won't root, but it still good for use as an ointment. I'll be sorting through some Aloes this week. If I see it I'll let you know.

  3. Tara @ Go Green St. May 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm -

    I am not sure if you will die if you eat it, but I am not sure I would try! 🙂

    Water the pups well you pot pot then don’t water again for about 3 weeks or so, this will make them root. Also, I have better luck with Aloe growing outside, it grows better out than in (at least for me).

  4. Mike Lieberman May 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm -

    That seems to be the consensus. I guess I'll be buying one.

  5. Mike Lieberman May 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm -

    Thanks for the info.

  6. Mike Lieberman May 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm -

    Gotcha. Thanks.

  7. darrylfields May 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm -

    Your aloe looks like Medicinal Aloe. We use it to soothe sunburn. You cut off the little row of stickers, split the leaf and rub the juicy inside on the skin. You scrape the jelly-like center of the leaf to get it to release more juice. It's very cooling and really helps the sunburn to heal more quickly and takes out the burn. Repeat every couple of hours. I know folks who blend up the center part and add it to drinks in hope it heals internal irritation like ulcers.

  8. Mike Lieberman May 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm -

    I'm likely just gonna scrap this one and just buy a plant.

  9. Char (PSI Tutor:Mentor) May 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm -

    Wow~ that leaf is beautiful. Looks like the kind we eat here in Oz, but I don't know what species that is. Makes a great shampoo for dreads too.

    btw. chop the leaf into segments and stick in moist soil. They sprout roots and grow like crazy in no time.

  10. Mike Lieberman May 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm -

    Thanks. I don't need to worry about the shampoo part 🙂

  11. juli sheppard May 4, 2010 at 11:52 pm -

    Greetings,about your aloe find,i wouldnt trust to eat it as you could get pretty sick. You can start plantlets of other domestic ones. The aloes makes little babies that can be transplanted,try getting one from a plant store or from someone who has a matchure plant.If the gel is yellow in the plant dont use interanly,but if it is a clear gel like the ones you buy in the store then its ok to use ,but i dont trust the wild ones as there is many look a likes…hope this helps…peace out

  12. Mike Lieberman May 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm -

    Yes, definitely helps out Juli. Gonna stay away from eating this one to avoid death. That's some good, sound advice. 🙂

  13. Sales June 22, 2011 at 3:53 am -

    We got a LOT (!!!!) of them here in Curacao. They are the most common plant here.

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