Aloes are found from Arabia in the North to Madagascar in the East and Southern Africa in the South. Gilbert Westacott Reynolds documented over 300 species of aloes (about 170 species are found in South Africa). Aloes occur naturally only in Africa, in Mexico, where Aloe vera escaped from cultivation, it has been naturalised.
Aloes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the small grass aloes to the huge A. dichotoma and A. pillansii. Aloes are well adapted for harsh climates and they can survive in mountains, grasslands, deserts and on beaches . Both the spiky leaves and the bitter tasting sap prevents animals and insects from eating it. The waxy leaves have sunken pores which prevents water loss. The downward angled flowers are borne on a simple or multi-branched inflorescence. One of the genus' weakness is a poorly developed root system. Aloes propgate by seeds that are designed for wind dispersal and some species have a high degree of vegetative propagation (they offset quite easily).
Aloes are well known succulents, not just for their beauty but for their medicinal properties as well. You could find aloe vera in skin-care products, hair shampoo, vitamins and supplements.
Growing Aloes in cultivation can be rewarding especially when they are in flower, which is a spectacular display in any garden.
Aloes, especially Aloe vera can be found in many vitamins and supplements.
Creeping Aloes : Ground hugging aloes, stems absent or indistinct, dull greenish leaf colour, summer flowering, inflorescences appear to form a crown.
Rambling Aloes : Aloes in this group all have stems that are thin and slender, plants have leaves that are on average a little more fleshy than other Aloes, sheathing portions of leaves are usually striped, racemes short with a few flowers that are variable in size.
Speckled Aloes : Closely related aloe species, plants must have a stem, plants can be single or multistemmed, spots must be present on upper and lower leaf surfaces, plants have a western distribution pattern.
Grass Aloes : Largely a stemless group with long narrow leaves that are slightly succulent leaves. Inflorescence is single with a rounded raceme of white to red flowers.
A. Abida,A. boylei, A. chortolirioides, A. cooperi, A. dominella, A. eckloniss, A. fouriei, A. hlangapies, A. inconspica. A. integra, A. kniphofioides, A. kraussii, A. linearifolia, A. micracantha, A. minima, A. modesta, A. myriacantha, A. nubigena, A. parvifolia, A. saundersiae, A. soutpansbergensis, A. thompsoniae, A. verecunda, A. vossii
Aloe affinis - affinis means "related to" or "resembling". Aloe affinis was given the specie name affinis due to it resembling Aloe immaculata.