Aloe suzannae And May Blooming Aloes At The Huntington

On our Huntington visit yesterday, we saw three different Aloe suzannae in the Desert Garden.  The above is the largest.  It fell over some years ago.  The trunk re-rooted itself and the plant has branched.  From the other side:
 This other specimen looks recently planted.
Here's the third, the smallest:
A few weeks ago, we saw several recently planted specimens of Aloe suzannae at the nearby LA arboretum.  Here's one:
And here is one photographed at the San Diego Botanic Garden last November:
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Aloe suzannae is endemic to the island of Madagascar, and is near extinction in its native habitat.  It is a solitary, non-offsetting, slow growing Aloe.  In addition, it doesn't bloom every year, limiting availability.  Thus, when I saw one for sale on Ebay, I jumped.
Unfortunately, as you can see, something is wrong.  This top-down yellowing began to appear just a couple of days after it arrived.  I contacted the seller, who was baffled and immediately issued a full refund without my even asking (Thanks!).  A local expert thought it looked like light frost damage--could that have happened in transit?  It's been very mild here, neither hot nor cold.  If it survives--I'll have a relative rarity.  If not, I have...a blog post.  Such is gardening.    

So, what Aloes were blooming at the Huntington at the end of May?  A few.  This one--no label.  Possibly sinkatana.

 Aloe brevifolia:
Although this is a flower stalk, these are not flowers. This is an oddity--an Aloe that produces bulbils--appropriately named Aloe bulbillifera, from Madagascar.  I include it, because...it's cool. 

 Aloe 'Caesia'--one I am unfamiliar with.  A quick search mentions a 'Caesia' as a "variety of striatula - found only around Molteno in the Eastern Cape of South Africa". 
 Aloe davyana
 Aloe hildebrandtii
 Aloe porphryostachys.  This is a solitary Aloe from Yemen.  It is closely related to one I have, Aloe pseudorubroviolacea, and the flowers are somewhat similar.  The plant, however, is an upright grower and is not as beautiful as pseudorubroviolacea, which drapes gracefully from sheer cliffs along the Red Sea. 


Aloe tomentosa boasts flowers unusual for Aloes--they are fuzzy.

 The fuzzy coating gives them a frosted effect. 
 Could not see the label on this one. 
 Aloe 'Goldilocks'
That was yesterday in Aloes. 

Comments

  1. What do the roots of your A suzannae look and smell like?

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    1. Thank you for your interest, Saurs. On arrival they looked fat, healthy and had no odor. I dug the plant up this morning and was surprised and pleased to see some new root growth already. They still look healthy and have no odor. Maybe there is hope!

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    2. Glad to hear it! Sounds, as you say, like a temperature change tantrum. Crossing my fingers for you, because it really is a lovely species and I'd like to see what you do with it.

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    3. Thank you---I admire its strong boldness--

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    4. Temperature tantrum! Ha! Missed that the first time. Good one. :)

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  2. Do you think the unusually late bursts of rain are bringing these into flower, or are they just the varieties that traditionally bloom late in the aloe flowering season? The bulbil-bearing one is very, very cool. But for sheer awesomeness it's hard to beat the tomentose one. I'm helpless before almost anything with light yellow or greeny-white flowers, but both together *and* with such unusual texture: whoa.

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    1. Some do bloom at this time of year, late rain or not. Some in summer--Aloe reitzii was just sending up its flower stalk and I did not get a photo. Some of them are off-and-on-ers year round here--sinkatana is one of those. Possibly the rain helped, although there is select areas of irrigation in the desert garden for those plants that need it, and for the summer growers.

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  3. Love the Aloe Bulbillifera. I have lots of Aloe vera, very common around central Florida and the hummingbirds love it. They're left over from a rock garden, turned rose garden...kept them for the hummers.

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    1. Hummers love Aloe flowers, as do the bees. Nice you provide them with some extra food.

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  4. An Aloe that produces bulbils, who knew? Sorry about your Suzannae, hope it pulls through.

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    1. I hope it will survive and thrive--it is no longer deteriorating, so I keep hoping.

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  5. I'm fascinated by the Aloe bulbillifera.

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    1. Me to. It was a surprise to see them on the flower stem. The name is perfect.

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  6. I hope that Aloe will be fine and recover nicely, fingers crossed!

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  7. I love my Aloes in pots, but their blooms pale in comparison. Kniphofias are the closest I can get. You live in paradise...except I hate heat. Maybe I live in paradise, as long as I can visit yours via your blog.

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    1. I'm not a heat fan either, but back when we had historically seasonal weather, it wasn't so hot here. Your cool climate offers so many treasures--we both live in a paradise, don't we?

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