Sunday, February 9, 2014

Aloes at UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley

Last Thursday, I went to the first public sale of the year at UC Botanical Garden’s Landscape Cacti and Succulents Nursery. I used this opportunity for a quick walk through the South African Collection. As expected, quite a few aloes were in bloom.

To me, flowers are the icing on the cake when it come to aloes. Most aloes have such beautiful leaves that they are attractive year round, especially the species whose leaves take on pink, purple or red hues in the full sun.

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Southern African Collection

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The beautiful aloe in the foreground was labeled “Aloe sp.” Most likely it’s a hybrid whose lineage cannot be traced accurately.

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Aloe sp.

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Aloe sp. with person for size

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Aloe sp.

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Aloe sp. Note the yellow bush on the right.

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I took a closer look. It’s a Leucadendron tinctum.

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Fan aloe (Aloe plicatilis)

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Fan aloe (Aloe plicatilis). I saw some flower spikes emerging, and I expect it to be in full bloom in another six weeks.

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Fan aloe (Aloe plicatilis)

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Juvenile Aloe marlothii (not yet blooming size)

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Aloe speciosa

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Aloe speciosa

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LEFT: Aloe speciosa  RIGHT: Aloe castanea

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Aloe castanea

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LEFT: Aloe framesii   RIGHT: Aloe chabaudii

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I couldn’t find a label for this stunning spotted aloe

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Aloe ukambensis

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Labeled Aloe cameronii, this is the form with straighter, more upright leaves. The specimen I bought has the floppier leaves I prefer.

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola, still one of my favorite aloe species

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

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Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

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Aloe arborescens

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Aloe arborescens leaf close up

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Aloe striata

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Aloe striata. Here you can clearly see the salmon-colored leaf edge that makes this species so attractive.

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Aloe aculeata. The coloration is very striking.

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The same is true for Aloe brevifolia. I have no idea why I don’t have this aloe in my garden. It’s small and easy to tuck in between larger plants.

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Aloe brevifolia

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Aloe brevifolia var. postgenita

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Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla), always a favorite. I love how this specimen seems to be growing out of the rocks.

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Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla)

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 Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla)

I hope you enjoyed this visit to the UC Botanical Garden. Up next: aloes at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. I did a tour with curator Brian Kemble yesterday and managed to take quite a few interesting photos—some pretty, others showing the damage from the early December freeze.

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8 comments:

  1. Even on a grey rainy day the aloes and their blooms positively glow. Stunning group of plants!

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  2. I love these plants! And your picture are gorgeous. A few weeks ago, I was happy to capture the aloes blooming at the Huntington: http://gardeninguptoeleven.blogspot.com/2014/01/blooming-aloes.html

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    1. Renee, I actually thought of you because I'd seen your post before my visit to the UCBG :-).

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  3. I've only been to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden once, in 2009, yet I can place many of those specimens in the garden. I guess you could say that garden really made an impression on me. Thank you for the blooming tour!

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  4. Fabulous photos and incredible plants! Did you notice (probably) how you have one polyphylla spirals to the right and the other to the left? I bet you did! Gorgeous!

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    1. I noticed that when I looked at my photos. So cool. I always wanted to have one of each in my own yard but I think I'm done with Aloe polyphylla, after having lost two.

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