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Any shrubby succulent plant of the genus Aloe, in the family Asphodelaceae. Native to Africa, most of the 200 or so species have a rosette of leaves at the base but no stem. Several are cultivated as ornamentals. The juice of some species, especially the popular potted plant known as true aloe (Aloe vera), is used as an ingredient in cosmetics, as a purgative, and as a treatment for burns.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on aloe, visit Britannica.com.