Huntington Desert Garden eye candy for the holidays (Old World)

My last post—a review of Ron Parker's book Chasing Centuries: The Search for Ancient Agave Cultivars Across the Desert Southwest—was 1,700+ words. Since everybody is so busy around the holidays, I want to spare you another lengthy post. Instead, here's some easy-to-digest succulent eye candy from the Desert Garden at the Huntington in San Marino. I took the photos at the end of November on day 1 of my post-Thanksgiving road trip to Southern California.

In fact, I took so many photos that I have enough for several "eye candy" posts. This one focuses on the Old World section, mostly plants from Africa. Enjoy!

Aloidendron barberae silhouette

Old World (Aloidendron barberae) meets New World (Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue')

Ditto from the other side, with some aeoniums for contrast

Some hybrid involving Aloe arborescens

Tree euphorbia (Euphorbia lambii) from Tenerife in the Canary Islands

Yellow-flowering form of Aloe arborescens

The most perfect compact Encephalartos I've ever seen (no label)

Encephalartos arenarius seeds

Variegated Euphorbia ammak

Euphorbia ammak silhouette

Aloe striata in a sea of ice plants

Aloe ferox, Euphorbia lambii

The most amazing Dioscorea elephantipes I've ever seen. Look at the size of the caudex!

Most likely Euphorbia grandicornis × pseudocactus

Cyphostemma juttae

Cyphostemma juttae fruit resembling small grapes—not a coincidence since the genus Cyphostemma is in the same family as the grapevine (Vitaceae). However, these grapes, as tasty as they look, are poisonous.

The tall plant with green leaves is the Madagascar ocotillo (Alluaudia procera)

Flowering Aloidendron ramosissimum

Aloidendron barberae

Aloe erinacea × arborescens hybrid

Aloe 'Evil Twin' (Aloe sinkatana × Aloe harlana)

Aloe peglerae

Stapelia grandiflora

Dancing aloes

Aloes and tree euphorbia

Aloe speciosa (left), Aloe thraskii (right)

Aloe speciosa, definitely not its typical growth habit

Aloe elegans

Backlit aeoniums

Euphorbia horrida

Aloe dorotheae and Haworthia fasciata

Aloidendron ramosissimum

Aloidendron ramosissimum

Aloe camperi 'Cornuta'

Tall single-stemmed aloes from South Africa growing happily next of a white floss-silk tree (Ceiba insignis) from South America

Looking towards the New World section, which we'll visit in my next post


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  1. Unusual to see that purple ice plant blooming now. I like that grape-y thing.

    1. The purple ice plant was perfection. There were some others in bloom, too, but they weren't as vigorous. As you said, not their typical time of year.

  2. That was a fun visit Gerhard, thanks for sharing. What a gem this garden is -I have tentative plans for a late winter visit.

  3. I hope I can get there this winter - the desert garden seems at its best this time of year. If only Elon Musk's tunnel was in operation to make the trip through the downtown corridor less miserable...

    1. LOL, an Elon Musk tunnel! We need one from Northern to Southern California, too :-)

  4. Love your photos of the Huntington Gardens!


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