Friday, December 26, 2014

Toppled aloe and other sightings at UC Davis

A month ago I photographed this Aloe littoralis in front of the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory:

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Aloe littoralis photographed on November 23, 2014

Aloe littoralis is a non-branching aloe that can get to 10 ft. in height, with a rosette up to 4 ft. across. This specimen at UC Davis was a good 6 ft. tall, the emerging flower stalk adding another 3 ft.

I happened to be on campus a few days ago and was shocked to find this:

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The Aloe littoralis had fallen over.

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The brown parts are the dessicated old leaves (normal)

Since I took the first two photos in the last week of November, we’ve had 9 inches of rain. Either the ground got too soft or the stem rotted, or both. So sad to see such a majestic plant flat on the ground. I’m hoping that Ernesto Sandoval and his staff at the Botanical Conservatory will be able to rescue this aloe, possibly by cutting off the stem and re-rooting the rosette.

Interestingly enough, the flowers have already reoriented themselves and are now pointing straight at the sky. This leads me to believe that this happened a few weeks ago.

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There’s another (smaller) Aloe littoralis nearby, and it seems perfectly healthy:

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Speaking of healthy, I took a quick walk on campus to check out the usual suspects (see my earlier post), and they all look fine. I’ll have another update in late January when many of them should be in full bloom.

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Aloe ferox

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LEFT: Aloe comosa  RIGHT: Aloe arborescens

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The blue aloes in flower are Aloe suprafoliata. The green aloe in the foreground is Aloe microstigma. The massive green aloe in the back is Aloe ferox.

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Aloe ferox

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Aloe ferox

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Not an aloe but a pretty sight nonetheless: golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) and banana yucca (Yucca baccata)

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Possible Aloe striata × buhrii hybrid

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Aloe marlothii

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Aloe microstigma

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Flowering: Aloe zebrina

6 comments:

  1. I wonder if they'd leave it as it is, or it might be in the way, hmmm....

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  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, you don't get this kind of growth in a year or two. Probably at least 15 years old.

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  3. Ah too bad...Here I can only grow aloe in pots because we get so much rain and have clay soil. But oh i do love them. They super easy to root so they could save it if they want to.

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    1. We had 9 inches of rain in a month. That's an aweful lot of us. We typically get about 18 inches per year. I'm sure they'll reroot it, or least try.

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