July 24, 2008 | Matt Cole, Director of Education

Aloe candelabrum apga-pasadena-571-small.JPG 

I have aloe envy.

I recently saw the diversity of plants that thrive in the Souther California climate.  The aloes they have there are incredible.  More than any other plant (and there are lot of plants), I wish I could walk among the aloes on a regular basis.  Just look at them!

The large one pictured is Aloe candelabrum: Can you imagine that on your window sill?  It's magnificent.  It reminds me of Dr. Seuss trees. The other is a field of Aloe mitriformis.  I really only know them from reading the plant labels, but Gee!  I loved it on sight.

There is a genus of plants that I turn to as a Rocky Mountain alternative to an aloe-fix and that's Hesperaloe.  They're long-blooming and water-smart, just terrific in many ways.  They're actually more closely related to agaves than aloes, but their flowers have a similar brightness and joy.

Hesperaloe parviflora Hesperaloe parviflora

The Gardens has 6 different species of Hesperaloe.  These ones are Hesperaloe parviflora, also known as red-flowered false-yucca.  You can even set yourself up a tour by using our BG-Map kiosk to create your own self-guided tour.

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