The Aloe plant, also known as Aloe Vera, is part of the lily family. Identifying an Aloe plant is simple due to its distinct look of the plant. Aloe plants flower annually and go dormant during the colder months. The leaves are thick and juicy and, when broken open, the juice can help soothe burns, moisturize skin, kill bacteria and reduce itching.
Look for thick green leaves that grow in a circle, with younger leaves forming a new circle in the middle and spreading outward. These leaves can give the Aloe plant the look of an upside down umbrella. The edges of each leaf contain short, sharp thorns, similar to a cactus.
Identify Aloe flowers by the trumpet-like bloom at the top of a stem in the center of the Aloe plant. These stems will not have any leaves. The blooms may also resemble wheat due to the angle of the flowers at the end of the stem. The flowers can be red, yellow, orange or, rarely, white.
Watch for hummingbirds to visit the Aloe plants, as the Aloe's tube-shaped flowers make it difficult for other birds and insects to reach the nectar.
Jennifer Wagaman has been a writer for three years, and is widely published on the web. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Messiah College and is certified in both elementary education and special education.