Aloe is a large genus consisting of around 558 evergreen, perennial, succulent, flowering plants with characteristic fleshy leaves edged with spikes and arranged in rosettes. Many are native to Africa, some are tree or shrub-like and other species have climbing habits. Succulents are a good water-wise choice. The leaves are fleshy, water-holding and when cut, release a gel containing over 75 active constituents, including multiple vitamins. The famous Aloe vera species has vast medicinal and cosmetic applications. Aloes are also popular houseplants due to their ease of care, attractive leaves and bright flowers. They have warm orange, red or yellow blooms in winter when the landscape is often grey. The flowers are bell-shaped to tubular in appearance and form clusters atop simple, leafless stems. These flowers are nectar-rich and provide food to many insects and birds, inviting welcome visitors to your garden and adding diversity.