Saturday, February 3, 2018

Ruth Bancroft Garden: aloe there!

While the Ruth Bancroft Garden (RBG) in Walnut Creek, CA is a great place to visit at any time of year, it's particularly beautiful right now. The photo below shows you why: Many of the aloes are in bloom.

The RBG has an extensive collections of aloes, both species and hybrids. Brian Kemble, the garden's long-time curator, is a world-renowned aloe expert and has been creating hybrids for decades, many of which are planted out at the RBG.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to get into the RBG at 7:30 am as part of an open photography session. My earlier post highlights the breadth of succulents on display at the RBG. This post is all about aloes. It's not meant to be comprehensive; it simply showcases the aloes that caught my eye. If you live in Northern California, why not make plans for a visit and experience the aloe bloom for yourself?

Flowering aloe panorama


Here are some non-aloes you don't see very often: Eriocephalus africanus (white flowers) and Euryops speciosissimus (yellow flowers), both from South Africa

Left to right: Aloe marlothii, Aloe ferox (candelabrum form), Aloe ferox

Aloe 'Tangerine', an Aloe ferox hybrid


Aloe 'Creamsicle' and Euphorbia rigida

Aloe 'Creamsicle' and Euphorbia rigida
  
Aloe 'Creamsicle', a hybrid between a yellow-flowered specimen of Aloe arborescens with a yellow-flowered of Aloe ferox, was created by RBG curator Brian Kemble. I've never seen it look so stunning.

Aloe 'Creamsicle'

Aloe 'Creamsicle'

Pseudocactus metallicus ssp. bancroftiae

Aloidendron 'Hercules'. This is the first time I've seen it flower at the RBG.

Aloidendron 'Hercules' flowers

Aloe wickensii

Aloe wickensii



Aloe framesii, a close relative of Aloe microstigma

Aloe humilis× pictifolia

Back: Aloe 'Hellskloof Bells, a Brian Kemble hybrid between Aloe pearsonii and Aloe distans


RELATED POSTS:

All posts about the Ruth Bancroft Garden

10 comments:

  1. Great photos, as always. Seeing the flowers on Aloe wickensii makes me long for the day my plant blooms - it's still putting its energy into roots and leaves at this point. The new-to-me Aloe framesii is impressive too.

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    1. Aloe wickensii (aka cryptopoda) does take a few years, but once it gets to blooming size, it flowers year after year.

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  2. I'm so glad that I knew more names than I didn't in this post.I love your photos of Creamsicle. I wish I had time to go up to UC Berkeley this month ,but too much business travel looms on the horizon,not to mention weeding here at home, where the unfortunate lack of rain has at least allowed weeds to be pullable. I have an Aloe humilis that I bought at the fall plant sale-it does not say pictifolia on the tag, but looks like the same plant-and I'm excited it has a bud even though it's still in it's 4" nursery pot.

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    1. Personally, I can't tell the difference between Aloe humilis and Aloe humilis × pictifolia.

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  3. The color of the Aloe 'Tangerine' blooms is so vivid, I love it. Then of course the more muted Aloe 'Creamsicle' is the perfect compliment. I have to admit though, I am not a fan of the Pseudocactus metallicus ssp. bancroftiae.

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    1. I'm thrilled I bought a small Aloe 'Tangerine' last year without really knowing what the flowers are like. Can't wait for it to bloom.

      That cactus is something else. I noticed some strong reactions during the photography session—negative and positive.

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  4. Was just thinking earlier how aloes must be looking good at the moment in milder areas and your post just supports that nicely. Great photos as always!

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    1. It's been a warm week so I bet they're even better now.

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  5. 'Hercules' flowers: cool! Judging by the size mine must have a way to go yet. Like a decade.

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    1. I know! And your two 'Hercules' are taller than mine...

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