Aloe vera is often confused with agave

Aloe vera is often confused with agave

Both agaves and aloes are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Although the aloe and the agave could be confused by their appearance, they have one decisive difference: the aloe flowers anew every year when it reaches sexual maturity, while the agave usually only forms conspicuous inflorescences, often several meters high, once and after in old age the fruit ripening dies.

also read

  • Aloe vera in bloom
  • Aloe vera: Similar plants
  • When and how is aloe vera harvested?

Aloes plant genus

The aloe is a species-rich genus from the grass tree family. Its origin is believed to be in Africa. Aloes were already used as medicinal plants in ancient times. Its main characteristics are:

  • thick, water-retaining leaves with thorny teeth on the edge
  • Leaves arranged in rosettes on the trunk
  • Flowers yellow, orange or red
  • contains skin caring and regenerating substances
  • Juice / gel has a laxative effect
  • sensitive to frost

Plant genus of the agave

The agave is also a separate genus from the asparagus family. It is also known as the “century plant” because it takes several decades to develop inflorescences. Its main features include:

  • thick-fleshed, thorn-tipped leaves, some with spiny margins
  • The leaves form a basal rosette
  • blooms only once in old age and dies afterwards
  • Juice is used to make the Mexican national drink, pulque
  • Agave syrup as an alternative sweetener
  • sisal is made from the fibers
  • partly frost-resistant down to - 15 ° Celsius

Tips & Tricks

If you are not sure which of the two plants you have, you should closely monitor the flowering behavior. The agave flowers appear from the center of the plant. The aloe drives its flowers laterally out of the axillae.