TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Aloe ferox, (Cape Aloe, Bitter Aloe, or Red Aloe) is an endemic succulent plant native to South Africa and Lesotho. In South Africa Aloe ferox has become an important commercial medicinal plant. Traditionally used as laxative bitters, today it is one of the most frequently used indigenous plants in the bioprospecting industry in the country. Its leaves are harvested as a source of raw material exported for use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. It is listed on the CITES list of endangered plants along with other wild species of this genus. The image, photographed in the Karoo region of South Africa, shows the leaves being harvested.
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