Aloes produce a rosette of fleshy leaves that may be either spined or smooth, depending on the variety. Most, however, have spines that line the outer edges of the leaves, and some have spines in the center of the leaf. Spines vary in size and shape according to the variety of aloe. Colors range from green to blue-green, with some aloes sporting reddish-colored foliage. Some aloes have blotches, spots or stripes on the leaves.
Aloes produce flowers on a tall slender spike, which may be branched, that grows from the center of the rosette of leaves. Flowers vary in size but are generally tubular. Flower colors range from white to brightly colored red, yellow and orange. Seeds form in dry capsules once the flowers fade
Aloes, like other succulents, have fleshy leaves that hold water to sustain the plant during a drought. To help prevent water loss through to the leaves and to reflect excess light away from the plant, aloes have a waxy coating on the outside of the leaves. This bluish wax accounts for some of the beautiful coloration of aloe foliage. However, that’s not the plants’ only adaptation. Aloes use crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), a special form of photosynthesis, to help them conserve water. In normal photosynthesis, plants release water and take in carbon dioxide throughout the day through tiny pores, called stomata, on the undersides of the leaves. The stomata on aloe leaves, however, open only at night to take in carbon dioxide, while minimizing water loss. The carbon dioxide is stored overnight and used to manufacture food for the plant the following morning