Aloe maculata (synonym Aloe saponaria; commonly known as the soap aloe or zebra aloe) is a Southern African species of aloe. Local people in South Africa know it informally as the “Bontaalwyn” in Afrikaans, or “Lekhala” in the Sesotho language.
It is a very variable species and hybridizes easily with other similar aloes, sometimes making it difficult to identify. The leaves range in colour from red to green, but always have distinctive “H-shaped” spots. The flowers are similarly variable in colour, ranging from bright red to yellow, but are always bunched in a distinctively flat-topped raceme. The inflorescence is borne on the top of a tall, multi-branched stalk and the seeds are reputedly poisonous.
The soap aloe is highly adaptable and is naturally found in a wide range of habitats across Southern Africa, from Zimbabwe in the north, to the Cape Peninsula in the south. Specifically, it is native to southern and eastern South Africa, south-eastern Botswana and Zimbabwe.
This plant gel is used traditionally as a remedy for many medicinal properties by local people like: Skin complains, inflammation, respiratory system, muscular-skeletal system, poisoning, circulation and endocrine system diseases.
Please note in summer the plant turns green and in winter it turns a lovely shade of purple.