UC Davis campus walk: aloes and more
I finally got a chance to check on the progress of the aloes on the UC Davis campus. Here's what I found.
The clump of yellow Aloe arborescens outside the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory greenhouses on Kleiber Hall Drive is looking really good this year:
|Yellow form of Aloe arborescens|
|Aloe microstigma in front of the westernmost greenhouse|
|This Aloe microstigma is smaller than it was in the past. Attrition due to lack of irrigation?|
|Aloe aculeata getting ready to flower|
|Aloe 'David Verity' flower|
|The steely blue cycad is Encephalartos horridus|
|Aloe melanacantha in front of another Encephalartos horridus, with a clump of Gasteria acinacifolia on the right|
|Aloe melanacantha flower in front of Encephalartos horridus|
|Aloe arborescens flowers showing aloe mite infestation. This is the first time I've seen signs of aloe mite on the UC Davis campus. This clump of Aloe arborescens isn't right next to other aloes so I'm hoping this will remain an isolation occurrence.|
|Aloe microstigma, a few hundred feet from the infected Aloe arborescens above|
|Aloe ferox hybrid still has a bit to go before the flowers open up|
|Sad-looking clump of Aloe suprafoliata. They used to be pristine. I have no idea what happened, but I suspect is they didn't get any irrigation last summer.|
|Floppy Russellia equisetiformis|
A quarter of the space will feature a first-of-its-kind orchard of heirloom California fruit trees threatened with extinction. Once it is established, visitors to the garden are free to sample the harvests. The remaining space will serve as an outdoor ecological classroom, featuring drought-tolerant plants native to South Africa, the Mediterranean, Australia, Chile, and California.
Under the guidance of Botanical Conservatory director Ernesto Sandoval, the large South Africa mound has been planted with a variety of aloes as well as many kinds of South African bulbs. It's looking good already, but in a few more years, this will be a major plant destination on campus.
|Aloe maculata may be common, but it flowers freely and is pretty much indestructible|
|This giant with its own scaffolding is an Aloe marlothii hybrid that used to be in the cycad garden in front of Storer Hall. It toppled over in January 2017 as a result of excessive rain. For a few years, it lay where it had fallen, still pushing flowers every winter. I'm glad it has a new forever home now.|
|South Africa mound in the BOG|
|Lachenalia aloides var. quadricolor, one of my favorite South African bulbs|
|Giant sea squill (Drimia maritima) with their fall/winter foliage. In late spring they start to go dormant, and in late summer they push tall inflorescences, which die off before the leaves appear again.|
|Drimia maritima bulbs can grow to an impressive size over time—up to 1 foot in diameter and weighing several pounds. They're considered the largest succulent bulbs.|
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