Finally I have finished the Aloe arborescens drawing. This is a big piece of work – 60/90 cm and is a wash and pen drawing done onto masonite. It will be a partner for the Aloe maculata finished last month.
The krantz aloe grows into a large multi headed shrub – although it has been given a national tree no, no – 28.1. The flower spikes are usually various shades of orange, but sometimes one may be lucky enough to find bi-coloured or pure yellow ones. This one is a bi-colour and I found it growing near the top of Empati mountain.
All Aloes are an important nectar source for our sun birds and they are loved by insects and bees. The krantz aloe is highly adapted to many habitats although it does prefer rocky cliffs and bush veld.
Medicinally Aloe arborescens have special extracts in their leaves which are excellent for wound healing – especially burns. They have anti – bacterial, anti – ulcer, anti – inflammatory, and anti – carcinogenic properties.
These aloes are fast and easy to grow enjoying full sun. They hybridize easily with other aloe species.
I love not only their colourful flowers through winter but also their structural leaves – this one I enjoyed drawing immensely.