Wednesday, February 10, 2016

'Allo Aloe

Forgive the terrible pun for the title of this piece which is all about aloes. Brits of a certain age will all recall the incredibly popular TV series 'Allo 'Allo, about a small French cafe and the French resistance which ran for 85 episodes from 1982 to 1992. 

Back to plants and gardens! There are some 500 species of Aloe which originate from  tropical and southern Africa and Madagascar, and have also become naturalized in other regions such as the Mediterranean, North and South America. The best known is Aloe vera, which although probably extinct in the wild is widely grown for pharmaceutical purposes. Aloes are generally succulent and have a rosette of foliage very similar to Agave spp, although some aloes form woody stems making shrubs or small trees.

At this time of the year, here in California, the many species start to flower and some of them can be quite spectacular.  I haven't managed to get to the Huntington Gardens yet this spring but here are a few pics from past visits. Apologies that there are a few names missing - do tell me if you recognize them!

Aloe vera

Aloe africana

Aloe castanea

Aloe dorothea

Aloe excelsa

Aloe labworana

Aloe polyphylla

Aloe porphyrostachys

Aloe ramoissima

Aloe sp

Aloe sp

Aloe sp
Aloe vanbalenii 

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