Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Flowering aloes on the UC Davis campus (end of February 2015)

I finally found time to check on the aloes on the UC Davis campus. I hadn’t been back since my last post on December 26 but fortunately it looks like my timing was just right.

This outing also gave me an opportunity to test-drive a fun lens I just bought for my camera: a 6.5 mm fisheye that offers an amazing angle of view. The first set of photos were taken with this lens before I switched back to my regular wide-angle zoom (17-40 mm). As expected, the fisheye is a bit gimmicky and doesn’t lend itself to too many situations. However, it’s just about perfect when you want to convey an exaggerated feeling of space. The vignetting from the lens hood actually helps by introducing an element of artifice that telegraphs in no uncertain terms that this is not a “normal” perspective.

Enough about lenses. Let’s look at the aloes, starting at the Botanical Conservatory on Kleiber Hall Drive:

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LEFT: Aloe microstigma  RIGHT: Aloe striata

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LEFT: Aloe microstigma  RIGHT: Aloe striata

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Aloe microstigma

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Aloe × spinosissima

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Agave parryi

Now walking over to Storer Hall:

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Aloe × spinosissima

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Aloe × spinosissima

And from there to the alley between Haring Hall and the Sciences Lab Building:

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Palo verde (Parkinsonia florida)

And finally to the planting bed next to the Sciences Lab Building:

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Aloe × spinosissima

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Bed outside Sciences Laboratory Building

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Aloe microstigma

This is where I switched lenses. Now we’re retracing our steps starting at the Sciences Lab Building.

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Aloe microstigma

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Aloe ferox and Aloe marlothii

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Aloe marlothii

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Aloe peglerae

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Tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii); it will start to elongate soon and bloom in May

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Aloe × spinosissima

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Aloe hereroensis, one of my all-time favorite aloe species

Plantings between the Sciences Lab Building and Haring Hall:

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Aloe hereroensis

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Aloe hereroensis

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Aloe ‘Who Knows What It Is’

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Aloe africana

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LEFT: Aloe africana   RIGHT: Aloe ferox

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Aloe ferox

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CENTER: Aloe marlothii

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Aloe marlothii

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Gasteria acinacifolia

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Beautiful juxtaposition of purple-flowering Babiana nana from South African and Aloe humilis

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Aloe humilis

Storer Hall:

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Aloe × spinosissima

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Aloe humilis and Aloe comosa

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Encephalartos horridus and Aloe comosa

Botanical Conservatory:

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Aloe littoralis. This is the “fallen giant” I wrote about in this post.

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The rotting stem can’t be saved, but I’m hoping the rosette on the right will re-root.

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Possible hybrid between Aloe ferox and Aloe arborescens (according to Ernesto Sandoval, director of the Botanical Conservatory)

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Possible hybrid between Aloe ferox and Aloe arborescens

Here’s a handy UC Davis campus map if you decide to visit. Come on Saturday or Sunday when parking is free!

6 comments:

  1. Lovely aloes! Can't say I'm a fan of the fish eye. It kind of makes my eyes throb and want to jump out of my head. Or maybe I'm just jealous since I can't buy fancy lenses for my point and shoot.

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    1. I know what you mean about the fish eye photos. They do play weird tricks on your brain. I promise I'll go easy with this new lens :-)

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  2. So lucky to have UC Davis near you and Ble to witness this spectacle every winter!

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    1. I do appreciate being so close to such beauty. Next weekend I'll check up on the UC Davis acacia grove. Many acacias should be in full bloom.

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  3. Cool. Heroensis is a lovely one, and the comosa is also attractive. Was that Gasteria out in full sun?!?

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    1. I have three small Aloe hereroensis now and can't wait for them to flower. Still looking for an Aloe comosa.

      I saw several of these gasterias and they get full sun at least half a day. I think gasterias are OK with full sun even though many people grow them because they tolerate shade so well.

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