In addition to being an important component of the floras of Africa, Arabia and Madagascar, aloes are widely cultivated by hobbyists in Europe, the Americas, Australasia, Africa, India, and other parts of the world. Aloe vera is one of the most important cultivated medicinal plants, and the commercial value of aloes both in the pharmaceutical and the horticultural trades worldwide cannot be overestimated.
For the first time since the publication of G.W. Reynolds' two books over 40 years ago, all currently accepted Aloe taxa are brought together, with descriptions, illustrations, reference to protologues, location of types, distribution, habitat, and brief notes on diagnostic features and relationships. Dichotomous keys lead to identification of all taxa arranged in 10 groups based on habit and size, from small to large. An extensive, illustrated chapter on the history of discovery, especially in tropical Africa, adds interest. The text includes a pictorial glossary, bibliography, and index with synonyms.
S. Carter is an Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. J. J. Lavranos is a retired insurance broker and has been carrying out field work since 1950. L. E. Newton is a botanist based at Kenyatta University, Kenya. C. C. Walker is a lecturer at the Open University and editor of Bradleya (scientific yearbook of the British Cactus & Succulent Society).