Huntington Desert Garden: Old World eye candy

In my previous post I treated you to some eye candy from the New World section of the Huntington's Desert Garden. I could follow it up with something completely unrelated but that wouldn't be couth. So I'm going to be completely predictable and continue with eye candy from the Old World.

I had intended to take more photos than I ultimately did, but as temperatures were climbing into the 90s and the 7+ hours on the road were beginning to catch up with me, I ended up bowing out in mid-afternoon to retreat to the air-conditioned coolness of my motel room. Sometimes creature comforts take precedence over plant-related pursuits.

Crown of thorns (Euphorbia millii)

The “variegated” form of Euphorbia ammak is my favorite among the tall cactus-like euphorbs. It's even less hardy than the green form so I've given up trying to grow it in Davis. I do drool a little every time I see a large specimen, like this one in front of the silver-blue foliage of Cussonia paniculata.

Euphorbia grandicornis × pseudocactus

Mother of thousands (Bryophyllum daigremontianum), in front of Aeonium 'Zwartkop'. The “nubbins” along the leaf margin are actually little plantlets that eventually fall off and root. That's why this Madagascar native is so beloved by some—and reviled by others. In some parts of the world it has become naturalized and is considered an invasive weed.

Front: Aloe 'Hellskloof Bells', a hybrid between Aloe distans and Aloe pearsonii created by Brian Kemble, the curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Aloe rubroviolacea

Aloe rubroviolacea trying to make its escape

Aloe dorotheae

Few, if any, aloe species have such brilliantly colored leaves when exposed to full sun

Aloe mawii

I can tell you that the conventional-looking plant on the right is Aloe chabaudii and the small reddish-brown one in the front Aloe suffulta. What I want to know: What is that greenish-yellow aloe on the left? There was no tag. I've never seen an aloe with that coloration before.

Aloe rivieri

Aloe sabaea

Aloe vanbalenii

There's something about succulents...

... growing under the canopy of massive trees!

Look at the roof of the Desert Conservatory—somebody is getting too big for their breeches!

The Huntington's Desert Garden is spectacular at any time of year, but there's nothing quite like visiting in the winter when thousands of aloes are in bloom. Who knows, I may be able to squeeze in a quick trip later in the year!


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  1. I love the shots of the succulents under the tree - and that of the conservatory escapee.

  2. Got to love the Euphorbias. So many different and interesting plant forms. The large tree is spectacular. Do you know what it is? Great photos for such a hot day.


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