More Amazing Aloes: South Africa in San Diego

– Posted in: Succulents

IMG_5778 There’s a nursery near my home aptly named It’s nine acres of big, bold, dramatic, over-the-top succulents and cacti. It’s one of the nurseries I enjoy taking people to, because they’re invariably amazed. IMG_5665 It’s a photographer’s feast any day of the year, but my favorite time to go is mid-winter when large aloes come into bloom. Aloes are native to parts of Africa that have a similar climate to Southern California’s. IMG_5672 Owner Brandon Bullard is a plant wizard, but he has yet to give these hybrids names. I suspect most have in their lineage Aloe ferox, Aloe marlothii, Aloe africana, Aloe speciosa and/or Aloe castanea. IMG_5690 This double-colored, cream and rose flower is typical of Aloe speciosa…except this one has shorter stems and the flowers that line the bloom spike are not as tightly packed. And the flower heads aren’t tilted, which also is characteristic of the species. IMG_5699 And these look sort of like Aloe africana. They’re the right color, but Aloe africana flower spikes are pointed, and the lower part frills outward like a skirt. IMG_5773 The plant and the shape of the flower spikes suggest Aloe ferox, but the flowers are the wrong color. Aloe ferox flowers are rose-red to shades of orange. I wonder what contributed the cream? IMG_5788 Again, a guess: Aloe ferox x Aloe speciosa? IMG_5804 And pale green flowers tinged with orange? I have no idea! IMG_5810 Another mystery medley, with some euphorbias on the left. Don’t you love the violet leaves in the foreground? IMG_5823 I vote for naming this one Aloe ‘Peaches and Cream’. IMG_5650 And what about this one? Aloe ‘Corncob’?   My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via , , , , , , and social media ( and ). My books: , and .   

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Debra Lee Baldwin

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
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