The aloe plant is synonymous with skincare and healing. While the plant’s therapeutic properties are well known, the flowers are not a common sight.
The plant buds only after it has matured to an age of four years. Also, the flowers bloom once a year, usually between spring and summer, making it a rare event.
The Aloe genus includes more than 580 species of fleshy-leaved plants known as succulents. The most popular member of this genus is aloe vera, known scientifically as Aloe Barbadensis Miller.
Aloes are part of the Asphodelaceae family and the Asparagales order. Aloes and lilies are related but have little obvious resemblance.
The term aloe is derived from the Arabic word “alloeh” which means a shining and bitter substance, an obvious reference to the gel within its leaves.
The plants are native to the Arabian Peninsula and several islands in the Indian Ocean such as Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and Comoros.
Aloes thrive in warm, arid and tropical regions such as Southern Africa, India, Australia, the Mediterranean coast and Central America.
What do Aloe Flowers Symbolize?
Ancient cultures often regarded the flowers and plant as a symbol of immortality. Egyptian and sub-Saharan African civilizations revered the plant as sacred with the power to bring the living back from the dead.
The ancient Egyptians believed that aloes had a strong connection with the afterlife. It was often used as part of the embalming process to preserve the mummies of the pharaohs.
Cleopatra attributed her ever youthful beauty to extensive use of aloe. The aloe flower meaning as the boundary between life and death can be explained on account of its properties.
Aloe flowers and leaves are strongly alkaline containing potent polyphenols and enzymes that are rich in anti-oxidants. The extract, whether used topically, or ingested helps the body to cleanse itself and maintain a state of equilibrium, delaying the aging process.
Alexander often visited regions and islands, where groves of aloe plants flourished, to heal the soldiers’ wounds during his Persian campaigns.
The Bible has several references of the plant specifically associated with gift-giving and the funeral rite of Jesus.
What do the Various Colors of the Aloe Flower Mean?
Aloe flowers are brilliantly colored though nature has limited the palette to a few shades. Often a single plant may feature flowers of multi-colored hues ranging from yellow, orange, red and sometimes pink.
Yellow Aloe Flower Meaning
The yellow aloe flower is the most predominant bloom and grows on most species including aloe vera.
The extract from the leaves is an essential ingredient in various cosmetics, skin and hair care products. It has long been a part of alternative medicines to combat stomach ailments such as constipation and infections. The plant is also gaining popularity as a gourmet food.
Not surprisingly, the yellow flowers represent protection and healing on a holistic level from the ravages of diseases and the ill effects of aging.
Red Aloe Flower Meaning
The red aloe flower grows on species such as the Aloe Humilis also known as spider aloe.
The red flowers stand for enduring life and vitality amid hostile circumstances such as the desert landscape. A persevering attitude perfectly sums up the message of these strikingly bright flowers.
Orange Aloe Flower Meaning
Orange aloe flowers grow on species such as Aloe Aristata or lace aloe.
The flowers are considered a symbol of resurrection and a never-say-die attitude despite facing severe trials.
The plant has a phoenix-like quality to heal itself and proliferate even after being cut or burnt.
Orange aloe flowers are known to attract several birds, bees and insects due to its high nectar content.
Pink Aloe Flower Meaning
Pink aloe flowers are prized for their unique tint and grow only on certain species such as Aloe Polyphylla and Aloe Plicatilis. The color universally stands for love and romance and the pink aloe flowers are no exception with an added touch of steadfastness.
Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Aloe Flower
Rosette shape: The plant grows in a unique rosette formation and resembles a flower itself. The flowering stalk, referred to as an inflorescence, springs from the rosette’s center and ends in a dense cluster of small brightly-colored tubular flowers.
Height: Aloe plants range in height from shrubs that extend a few inches from the ground to towering giants that grow up to 40 feet (ca. 12 m).
Smell: The flowers do not exude any fragrance though the plant emanates a distinct earthy and slightly offensive smell.
Leaves: The leaves usually grow directly from the ground and are the plant’s most distinctive feature. The leaves are large and sword-like, often covered in white stripes or spots and ending in a point. The leaves’ sides are serrated with jagged edges and spikes.
Ornamental Plant: Aloes are a preferred choice for gardeners and interior decorators as an ornamental plant due to its hardiness. The plant can grow in almost any location, whether in gardens, greenhouses, patios, porches, in the balcony or indoors on window sills.
Natural History: Aloes are a familiar sight in outdoor rock gardens or indoor foliage adding a touch of prehistoric beauty to the setting. The plant has been around for thousands of years, a testament to its long-lasting characteristics. In fact archaeologists have found images of aloes in pictograms dating back to the Stone Age.
Environment Boosters: The flowers are believed to ward off negative vibes and uplift the ambiance in any setting. People believed that the flowers guarded a house from malevolent spirits and often hung the blossoms at the entrances of their houses.
Air Purifiers: The aloe flower meaning as a protective agent can be understood from its property to act as an air purifier. The plants have a natural capacity to absorb dust, chemicals and pathogens from the atmosphere. Aloes today are a much sought after gardening plant in industrial areas.
Planting Aloes: You can plant aloes in sandy and gravelly soil. You can also grow aloes indoors in a ceramic or terracotta pot. Make sure that the soil is porous with a mix of pebbles and the pot has ample space and apertures for draining excess water.
Caring for Aloes: The plants can be watered once a week. Indoor aloes may not bloom as the plants need ample sunlight and pollinating agents to flower. You could place the pot outdoors and feed organic fertilizers to encourage the plant to flower.
Best Time to Gift Someone Aloe Flowers
The flowers are often considered as harbingers of luck, health and cheer, heralding a new phase in life.
Aloe flowers make for an ideal gift to someone who is recovering from an illness. You can also gift bouquets of the flowers to your grandparents on their birthday wishing them long years of health.
The flowers are also a perfect gift for any occasion symbolic of a fresh start from baby showers to house-warming parties. Pink aloe flowers are a cherished gift for partners who wish to take the next step towards holy matrimony.
You can also gift a potted aloe plant to anyone who is planting an indoor garden.