GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Aloe flowers. Coloured historical engraving of the flowers of an aloe (Aloe dichotoma). This is a stocky tree native to the scrubland of Southern Africa. Several views of the small yellow flowers are seen here. The male parts of the flower, the stamens (red) are seen at lower left, and at lower right is the female part, the carpel. Some species of aloe are made into infusions and can be used as mild laxatives and aids to digestion. The common name of this plant, the quiver tree, comes from the practice of local people who used its hollowed branches to hold their arrows. Engraving made by Lieutenant William Paterson in 1778, on his travels around southern Africa.
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