I learned about Krantz Aloe from a random stranger who was harvesting Aloe (vera) at a community garden in Honolulu. He told me he’s doing it for a friend who has cancer because it was mentioned in a book written by father Romano Zago. He said the book is available for free online.
I’ve never heard of that book before, but I was interested to learn more. After a quick search and a free pdf download I had the book in front of me on my computer. I soon realized that the stranger who told me about the book was picking the wrong kind of aloe.
Little did he know, that the book specifically mentions Krantz aloe and not Aloe vera. In fact, Aloe vera [Aloe barbadensis] sounds very similar to Aloe arborescens [Krantz aloe], but they are not the same. Please note: I’m not saying that Krantz aloe cures cancer (or anything). But based on available information, its properties should be investigated further.
The main physical difference between the two is that Krantz aloe grows tall (arbor means tree) and Aloe vera (vera means true) stays low. Krantz aloe’s leaves are typically slightly more slender than Aloe vera with more prominent spikes. Krantz aloe leaves have more curvature (reminiscent of octopus tentacles) when mature.
Both aloe types have pink flowers that look like torches, but Krantz aloe has a more prominent flower “torch.” Both aloes, don’t like too much water, which could hurt them.