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Aloe, Love!

January 11, 2010

Top o' the mornin'!

Didju hear the title of this post in your head with a Cockney accent?! Pretty goofy, huh? Kinda fun, though, right? Well I had that same fun, almost loopy feeling, when I saw the above first thing Saturday morning. Seeing this terrific aloe ferox, with its whirligig flower stalk topped with rusty-dusty spears, was a moment of sheer happiness!  This fantastic plant is in the front yard of the Rancho and is huge and only getting bigger. It’s definitely one of my favorite aloes. Let’s have a look at some others …

Rosette in pastel

This aloe epitomizes a basic characteristic of this type of succulent: a rosette shape. What I love about this one is the amazing pastel-like shading from a parrot green to a lighter lime shade, finally ending in an amazing salmon-y orange. In the early morning shade, the cool blue/gray of the gravel couldn’t complement this softly intense color progression any better.

Energetic garden stalker

I love that aloes flower in the winter. The colors of their blooms really punch up a cold winter morning. The aloe arborescens, above, sent out this way-tall flower spear a few days ago and it’s been a huge hit with the local hummingbird population. Sitting very still next to it for about a half hour, I was not able to entice back the  ruby-throated hummer I’d seen earlier, so I could snap a picture. It’s probably for the best: the sight of it’s tiny, shockingly bright iridescent chest — a shining mix of crimson and fuschia — against the orange of the aloe blossoms, was almost day-glo in the morning sun … and, I don’t think my piddling camera could’ve captured the moment faithfully anyway.

Thinking of ribbons?

The fan aloe, or aloe plicatilis, is so bizarre-looking I couldn’t help but match it with this very singular planter. This aloe’s leaves grow alternately on top of each other, creating wavy fans of wide, fleshy ribbons. The dual trunks of this plant are in a fleshy pink that fades to white then back to a cool, succulent green. Saturday morning surrealism provided by the perfect pairing of pot and plant. Aloes share many of the qualities of all succulents: thick, fleshy, water-filled leaves; an amazing variety of colors, shapes and sizes; the ability to survive under harsh, dry conditions; yet they are very special. Just ask your local hummingbird!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2010 6:27 pm

    oooh, I love the planter that you have your aloe plicatilis in! Where do you find these wonderful objects? lovely aloe rosette, too.


  1. Ferox Afire « Rancho Reubidoux

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