I was a bit staggered to read that Aloe 'Hercules' can grow thirty to forty feet tall (9-12 meters), but of course that growth takes a while. I spotted these two babies at the big-box store and grabbed them both.
Aloe 'Hercules' is a cross of seed parent Aloe barberae, The Aloe Formerly Known As Bainesii, with pollen parent Aloe dichotoma. A. 'Hercules' is acknowledged to be both faster growing and slightly more cold-hardy than either, down to 20-25F, a few degrees better than A. barberae and A. dichotoma at 25-30F.
Aloe dichotoma ( I don't know what's wrong with the image)
Kind of cool little snippet of David Attenborough talking about A. dichotoma, accompanied by an awesome specimen:
After quite a long search through my photos, I find no image of A. barberae. Oops. There's a magnificent specimen about a mile down the hill--I must have thought I could just get a shot of that if I ever needed it. Sorry. Here's Google images of A. barberae for your viewing pleasure.
I guess the big thing is: I've got a pair of nearly identical size.
Matched pairs of any substantial plant seem to invite placement on either side of a gateway to something. Since these beasties can get 40' tall, they'll probably be proportionally wide, so they invite placement on either side of something fairly wide. Either side of the front door? Not enough room. Either side of the entry walk? Mmmmaybe... Either side of the driveway? Most probably enough space there. For a few months, though, a pot so they can develop some system. I've noticed that this big box store gets aloes that have been freshly up sized into larger pots, so the root system may be rather petite as yet.
The below image shows what I think might be a more mature (teen-aged) 'Hercules', there on the left side of the photo, which was taken at the Huntington in San Marino.
'Hercules' has something similar to A. dichotoma's wonderful fissured texture on the trunk, but the foliage is different(?). Don't quote me. At any rate, an Aloe to drool over. That glorious monster on the right (marlothii?) is beyond the drool-over stage--it is all the way to full weeping and pounding of the ground with clenched fist. I knew you'd want to see it.
But the photo gives me something to think about re: placement. My twin babies will be big boys someday. If I am going to plant something that will get 40 feet tall, I need to get the placement just right--ya think?