by germinatrix | January 24th, 2010
Okay, so we’re starting off a little soggy, but the aloe spikes came out of the torrential downpours unscathed! I am so HAPPY! I was afraid I’d have broken bloomspikes littering the gravel all over my backyard. But they are standing tall and proud, and are getting ready to open…
I’ve been slowly building my collection of aloes – so over the couple of months we should see a nice variety of blooms from these amazing plants! The blooms above are from my Aloe arborescens hybrids – I don’t know the exact variety, but they beautiful, single trunked succulents with clear yellow blooms. They remind me of spiders on stilts. Yes, weird. We will be seeing lots of the fabulous and the weird! I am planning a field trip to the Huntington this coming week to dive into the Belly of the Aloe Beast – and you all will see the results!
The photo above makes it look like the blossom is coming out of an Agave ‘Blue Glow’ (WOW! Wouldn’t THAT be cool?), but it is actually coming out of Aloe salm dyckiana, another lovely solitary trunked aloe. I got two of them on a crazy succulent binge one day. I can’t wait to see them, tall and majestic, flanking this small gravel area between my main outdoor seating area and my side porch.
One of my favorite aloes (WAIT – don’t let me get away with that! How can I possibly say one is my favorite? I have to figure out better superlatives with which to describe these plants, because ‘favorite’ is not true. I love them all) is A. ciliaris hybrid, a mounding, groundcover type that has been extremely useful in my garden – it holds court under Aloe marlothii ‘Willard’ ( I am now trying to name a variety of aloe that I had nothing at all to do with other than falling in love – how appalling is THAT) and does a beautiful job of weaving in and out of other aloes, grasses, and perennials. I started this rather large cluster from 3 cuttings – now it’s a swath about 8ft wide and 3 ft tall. J’ADORE!
Most of my aloes have unbranched spikes with deep orange/red flowers – the one above, Aloe rubroviolacae, is noted for it’s leaves, which take on a pinkish hue. Mine must not have gotten the memo, because there is not the tiniest blush on its leaves. In fact, it looks an awful lot like another A. salm dyckiana. Mislabeling often occurs in the nursery industry – and when dealing with specialty aloes and agaves it can be hard to tell them apart. But I have no worries, this is how I learn! I’ll let it grow, comparing it to the images in books and online, and to the aloes I know. And, lucky me, I have one of the best resources in the world a few miles away!
Get ready for Aloe Extravaganza – The Huntingtion!!!