Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Our aloes are finally flowering—and how!

All things come to those who wait, they say. It certainly took a while this year for the flowers on our aloes to open. I'm convinced the inconsistent weather—cool, unseaonably warm, cool, rainy, cold—got the plants all confused. But finally, after almost two months of impatient waiting on my part, the aloes planted in the strip along the street are at their peak.

Aloe excelsa (first two photos) is flowering for the first time, and our three Aloe 'Moonglow' (orange-yellow flowers) have never had so many inflorescences. Exciting times indeed!

Let's take a look!

Aloe excelsa blooming for the first time


Aloe excelsa 

Aloe excelsa (left), Aloe 'Moonglow'' (right)

This is the first of three clumps of Aloe 'Moonglow' we have now. They all came from the same mother—one of two plants in a #5 can (a friend of mine got the second plant in the pot). What a deal, considering all our 'Moonglow' cost us less than $10 in total.

Aloe ferox, bigger than ever

Aloe ferox wasn't satisfied with the large flower stalk on the left so it pushed a second one from the center

Aloe ferox; the tree behind the fence is Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea'

Aloe 'Moonglow', clump #2. The tall aloe is Aloidendron 'Hercules'; it's still much too small to flower.

Aloe 'Moonglow', clump #2

Aloe hereroensis

Aloe hereroensis flowers are truly spectacular

Aloe hereroensis flower up close

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola. What can I say? It's still my favorite aloe.

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

From left to right: Aloe ferox, Aloe 'Moonglow', Aloe capitata var. quartziticola, Aloe glauca

On the right: Aloe 'Erik the Red'

Aloe 'Erik the Red'. It has the reddest flowers of any aloe I've ever seen. And they haven't even opened up yet!

I take back what I said about Aloe capitata var. quartziticola being my favorite aloe. That honor goes to Aloe 'Erik the Red'. At least at the moment.

Aloe 'Erik the Red' and Aloe 'Moonglow', clump #3

Aloe 'Moonglow', clump #3

Aloe 'Moonglow', clump #3. The yellow-flowering shrublet in front of it is the dwarf bush marigold I brought back from Southern California (a hybrid between Tagetes lemmonii and Tagetes lucida called 'Gold Medal').

Aloe 'Moonglow', clump #3

Since the weather continues to be on the cool side (the highest daytime high I see in the 7-day forecast is 61°F), I expect these aloe flowers to last another few weeks. I'll be sad to see them go. Although by then spring might be here for real.

21 comments:

  1. My jealousy knows no bounds.

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  2. Oh man. I can wait to see the new garden. I don't have half of all your collections.

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  3. Erik the Red is beautiful! Congratulations on all of the plantings, they have come into their own and matured magnificently. Your color selection really paid off. Ah, the bliss of a patient gardener.

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    1. 'Erik the Red' is majestic. The flower color alone is worth it.

      Thank you for your kind words. I'm anything but patient, but plants don't care what I want--they're on their own time :-).

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  4. You have an incredible collection, Gerhard. I love both 'Moonglow' and the A. capitata, neither of which I can recall seeing here. I looked for new aloes on my foray to Santa Barbara County last weekend but came home empty-handed (in terms of aloes).

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    1. My 'Moonglow' originally came from Home Depot, believe it or. But I haven't seen it for sale anywhere in the last few years...

      I can get you a small A. capitata var. quartziticola if you're interested.

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  5. I love it. I really should at least drive by some day

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  6. That is weird that they are so late. Mine are mostly done, except for striata and its 'Ghost' hybrid. That's a show worth waiting for!

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    1. Yes, they're definitely late this year. But the weather has been so erratic...

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    1. Fortunately, the horrible wind we've had in the last few days hasn't done any damage.

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  8. And I thought they were gorgeous 3 weeks ago. WOW

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  9. It's so beautiful! Great design! Have you seen many Humming Birds at the flowers yet?

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    1. THanks, Dan! The hummingbirds seem to flock more to my grevillea 'Superb'. But it may just seem that way because the grevillea is easier to see from the house.

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  10. It wasn't a great year for the Aloes here--even they need some winter rain, many are quite stressed. Yours look wonderful--so colorful!

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