Far Out Flora

Aloetastic Berkeley


Aloe freakout

It had been over a year since we last checked out UC Botanical Gardens Berkeley, so we decided to  go cross a bridge to take a look recently. The Aloes were looking fine, along with a slew of other South African natives that get their freak on this time of the year. I’m not even sure which Aloe this one is. Anyone know? One of my favorite things about this garden is how well marked all the plants are, but in my plant gawking giddiness I must have forgotten to take a pic of the tag.

Aloe marlothii

This was the first time I’d ever seen this Aloe all grown up and flowering in real life. Love the orangey gold blooms. We’ve got a itty bitty baby version out back. It’s been a slow poke in the growing department.

Aloe abyssinica

I’d never even heard of Aloe abyssinica before. It’s frolicking with the some purple Babianas.


Aloe speciosa

I’m a big fan of Aloe speciosa even when it’s not in bloom, but dang those flowers are cool.

Aloe castanea

Aloe capitata var quartziticola

This is my new favorite Aloe I never knew existed. The floopy flowers are just too cute.

Aloe capitata var quartziticola

Aloe species

One last Aloe thats tag listed it as “Aloe sp.” looks like A. ferox but without a positive identification tag I’m not going to assume. If you’re an Aloe aficionado this is a great time to go check them out, plus tons of cool South African bulbs are starting to do their thing right now, too. There were Ferrarias going nuts all over the place.


  1. I loved checking out the Berk Bot Garden when I lived in Berk. I used to go every week and sit with a book for hours. The snakes can get a little crazy in the summer… but it’s still a lovely place to peruse and relax.

  2. Aloes, agaves, aloes, agaves. Which do I love more? It’s a quandry, but aloe flowers are pretty doggone amazing…

  3. That Aloe capitata var quartziticola is my new favorite Aloe that I never knew existed too! Thanks! I was just admiring an amazing specimen of Aloe speciosa the other day. I’ll be posting pictures of it and the amazing garden it was in soon.

  4. sensory overload. kapow.

  5. could the top one be the Aloe ‘Blue Elf’ cultivar?

  6. I’m searching the entire bay area in search of a place that would sell and have any type of blooming aloe plant this time of year (this week). Any ideas?

    • In San Francisco, I would head over to Flora Grubb. For mail order, check with Annie’s Annuals. Both great places and lots of both summer and winter bloomers. Matti

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