You Can Observe A Lot By Just Watching

 "You can observe a lot by just watching"  -- Yogi Berra

Watching and thus observing at the San Diego Botanical Garden today.  This Aloe 'Hercules' branches at knee-height.  Mine has branched at 10'--what determines the height at which it branches?  

 Aloe dawei
 A smallish Aloe with an interesting open and vertical growth habit.
 Aloe arborescens, as it begins to flower.
 At this, my favorite moment in the process, the flowers display a fetching blue tip. 
 A garden sculpture frames an Agave shawii bloom stalk.
 Aloe Agave shawii cluster  (Thanks to alert reader Rick A. for error correction)
 Agave horrida, possibly, beginning to send up its flower stalk
 Ferns in the foreground, a sculpture in the middle, a Quercus suber behind. 
 What a pure crimson this bromeliad displays!
 Cordyline, sunlit.
 I don't know what this besides Calathea lancifolia, totally cool. (Thanks to mr_subjunctive for the ID)
 Bromeliads do not require brilliant crimson color to dazzle.
 Opuntia helleri, native to the Galapagos Islands.  The fruits feed the giant tortoises of those islands.
 Strelitzia reginae
 From a different angle, the flower looks quite different.
 Aloe ferox is flowering early here.  The ones at the Huntington were not showing any signs of flowers a couple of weeks ago.
 Didn't see the label for this Aloe
 This Agave shawii is a lot different than the huge clump earlier.  This one is solitary and huge, shoulder-high.  Perhaps it has its own personal sprinkler at the roots, to make it so fat and happy.
There were a group of sculptures for sale throughout the garden.  Some of them (like this one) were quite nice, but they were also quite expensive.  This one was $19,000, plus tax.
 Plants are cheaper, and not without sculptural form.  A Restio: 
 Haemanthus albiflos
 Dioon foliage + sunlight
 Acacia covenyi, flowers just forming. 
 Sky.  No one can charge for that. 
 Nice hair, dude.
 Gerbera jamesonii 'Everlast'
 Watch, and you may observe. 


  1. The totally cool plant is, I think, Calathea lancifolia.

    1. Thank you Mr. S. You are right. I appreciate the ID. :)

  2. So many beautiful images of flowers and foliage dear Hoover. Love the Dioon in sunlight, the Aloe without a label, Bird's Nest Ferns (Asplenium) , the variegated Bromeliad, blue tips on Aloe Flowers and that wonderful sky.
    xoxoxo ♡

    1. The light was really beautiful, bright but not too harsh. Happy you liked the photos!

  3. So many beautiful photos! I especially love the second Aloe arborescens bloom image (the single bloom), and the crisscrossed Dioone foliage -- so nice! Of course any image of Aloe 'Hercules' is great too, as I just am drawn to large plants.

    1. Like bamboo! The SDBG has some nice stands of it, but my photos didn't do them justice yesterday.

  4. What a wonderful look at the SDBG! And to think, at this time last year I was getting excited to finally visit.

    1. Each visit can be to a different climate--that makes it fun.

  5. Beaaaauuuuuuutiful! I can't wait to go back to the SDBG!

    I think premature branching on tree aloes is triggered by some sort of crown damage?

    1. It looks perfectly formed--I was thinking perhaps rich conditions in the ground in its babyhood? Mine starved in a pot for a couple of years before getting in the ground...

  6. Cool plants, and wonderful photos. I only seem to visit San Diego for the great birding -- need to look for gardens and nurseries as well.

    1. There are a lot of plants worth looking at there!

  7. Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful observations! Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to have a look. Happy Thanksgiving to you and you family!

  8. Wow these plants are all so exotic and exciting! The first photo was vibrant and beautiful, and the final such a pretty delight :)


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