Ruth Bancroft Garden spectacular, part 3 of 3

 Back to part 1 │   Back to part 2

This is the final installment of my three-part post about the Ruth Bancroft Garden in late February 2021. 

Every time I visit, I discover something new, but I also say hello to old favorites, like this white-flowering Aloe ferox:

Aloe ferox 'White Form'

The typical flower color of Aloe ferox is red, but there are also yellow- and (like this one) white-flowered forms. They're rare and, because of that, sought after by collectors.

Agave montana and Bulbinella nutans, a bulb from South Africa's Cape Province whose flower stalks topped with glowing yellow flowers add vibrant pops of color in the winter

Aloe striata and Cephalophyllum sp.

Agave xylonacantha (blue form)

Aloe 'Blue Glow' nearing the end of its life

The iconic Ruth's Folly, the original entrance to the Garden, is currently closed for a complete overhaul. This is a major project that may take a year to complete.

Agave parryi ssp. neomexicana 'Rabid Dog', easily the most attractive form of this agave that I've ever seen!

Backlit Cleistocactus

Agave colorata pushing a flower stalk

Deuterocohnia abstrusa (left) and Deuterocohnia brevifolia (right)

Opuntia gomei 'Old Mexico'

Mammillaria geminispina looks great planted in mass

Thelocactus rinconensis

What a desert garden can look like

Contrasting prickly pears (Opuntia sp.)

Look at the completely rebuilt Shade Structure in Bed 6 (more details)

Closer look at the Bed 6 Shade Structure in plastic for the winter

Shade Structure from the other side, with a peek through the opening. I'll soon have a separate post about some of the goodies inside.

The entire bed was rebuilt as part of this project, with truckloads of new soil and rocks brought in to improve drainage and create height

Mangave 'Snow Leopard', one of several in the Garden

Agave stricta 'Nana'

Agave shawii

I love the way the leaves of these Boophone disticha bulbs light up in the morning sun

The leaves remind me of mustaches on cartoon characters

Boophone (easy hard to spell and say) is small genus of bulbs from southern Africa, consisting of just two species. Boophone disticha (these plants) is one, Boophone haemanthoides (seen here at the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden) is the other. 

The RBG's YouTube channel now features monthly's “What's in Bloom” videos where Garden curator Brian Kemble highlights plants that stand out. Here is the video for February 2021


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  1. It's not "bo-OFF-on-ee"? Oh, to be able to visit the RBG! Or anywhere, really. But especially the RBG.

    1. Your comment proved my point about how difficult it is for me to spell Boophone, LOL!

  2. I always pronounce it Boophone -like 'Boo! I'm going to call you on the phone !' That way I always know how to spell it. I definitely prefer Hoovs pronunciation.

    1. That's a good way to remember it! I always pronounce it "bo-AWE-fny."

  3. I remember you posts regarding the reconstruction of the shade bed. I'm excited to see how it turned out once the plastic protection is removed.


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