Streetside aloes, late February 2021

Time to take another look at the aloes blooming along the sidewalk. All too soon, this display—particularly generous this year—will be history. 

The flower colors range from creamy yellows to rich reds. The yellows are courtesy of Aloe 'Moonglow'. There are three separate clumps now. All three came from my half of a 5-gallon can I originally split with a friend—pretty remarkable growth. I've started to give offsets to friends since for whatever reason 'Moonglow' is currently hard to find in retail nurseries.

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #1

I'm particularly excited about this aloe since it's the first time it has bloomed for me. It's a hybrid between Aloe spectabilis (related to A. marlothii but with vertical instead of horizontal inflorescences) and Aloe vaombe. The flowers give me vaombe vibes while the leaves have the general shape of spectabilis.

Aloe 'Erik the Red', one of the most spectacular larger hybrids on the market

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola (left), Aloe 'Erik the Red' (center), Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #1 (right)

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola, with ×Mangave 'Kaleidoscope'

×Mangave 'Red Wing' (left), Hechtia argentea (center), Yucca 'Bright Star' (right)

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #2 (left), Aloe wickensii (right), 

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #2 (left), Aloe wickensii (right), 

Aloe wickensii, with Agave ovatifolia

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #2, with Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba' and Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies'

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #2, with Cantua volcanica, a perennial from southern Peru

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #2, with Agave macroacantha

Aloe petricola, with an Aloe bulbillifera hybrid on the left. The variegated agave in the middle is Agave 'Ripple Express, a variegated 'Mr. Ripple'.

Agave petricola

Agave parrasana × colorata, a hybrid created by Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft Garden. The silver-leaved plant with blue flowers (left) is the California Flora Nursery form of Teucrium fruticans.

Here you can see the Agave parrasana flower stalk next to Aloidendron 'Hercules'

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #3

Aloe 'Moonglow' clump #3 and Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps'

Aloe excelsa (left), Yucca 'Bright Star' (middle), Aloe marlothii (right). Interestingly, neither A. excelsa nor A. marlothii flowered this year, although they did last year. I think they didn't get enough water in the summer/fall. A. excelsa, in particular, looks very parched.

Aloe 'Tangerine' (Aloe arborescens × ferox)

Aloe 'Tangerine', with Aloe cameronii in the photo on the left and ×Mangave 'Mayan Queen' on the right

Aloe 'Tangerine' and ×Mangave 'Mayan Queen'

Aloe marlothii (left), with Agave weberi 'Arizona Star' (center)

Aloe marlothii (left), with Agave weberi 'Arizona Star' (right)

I'm sure there'll be one last post on the aloes in our garden since there are some stragglers, including Aloe 'Maui Gem' (A. mawii × globuligemma), Aloe 'Yemeni Gold' (A. sabaea hybrid), and Aloe humilis × ferox 'White Form'.

In addition, I'm planning another trip to the Ruth Bancroft Garden this coming weekend to capture more of their aloes in bloom. No rest for the wicked, as they say!

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  1. You (and HB of Piece of Eden) have convinced me that I "need" more aloes, particularly on my back slope (not that those I have have been generous with their blooms as yet).

    1. Yes, yes, yes! There's a really pretty toothless clone of Aloe arborescens that might be a good choice. San Marcos is one grower that has it.

  2. You are so lucky to live in CA where the Aloes do great. They appear to be in lots of sun and color so nicely. Here in Phoenix, I have to keep mine in shade in the afternoons or they would be crispy! I have looked for Aloe ‘Moonglow’ for so long but have not been able to find it here. I do love it and all your plantings, Gerard!

    1. 'Moonglow' is hard to find this year. Mine came from the Home Depot, of all places!

  3. All the A. 'Moonglow' clumps are impressive with so many flower stocks, but A. 'Tangerine' steals my heart with its amazing flame color, beautifully contrasting it's somewhat bluish leafs. The absolute show stopper is A. 'Erik the Red': Yowza!

    1. They're all great in their own ways, but 'Erik the Red' is my favorite as well.

  4. I gasped when I saw your Aloe wickensii in bloom on FB, beautiful! All of them actually. Wish we could grow such a wide variety of Aloes outdoors here, and enjoy their blooms at a time not many else does.

    1. Aloe wickensii doesn't have the most exciting leaves, but the flowers more than make up for it.

  5. Fabulous! So much color. Aloes make winters beautiful here, don't they? Your 'Hellskloof Bells' looks good, too. Has it ever flowered for you?

    1. This particular 'Hellskloof Bell's hasn't, but a different one has. I have four now. Beautiful flowers (see here).

  6. You must be so happy with your Aloe results-and my Gerhard gifted Moonglow offset has 4 hefty spikes that are about ready to open. My A. wickensii was stages for it's new home when our 24 degree event happened and now it looks like crap. Not dead though. It was fine with the low 30's and high 20's so I didn't caver it. I should have. Your steetside bed seems like such a perfect location for them.


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