spring-blooming Aloe camperi

from a single rosette, just budding up, flowers still unopened

There are so many, many great aloes. A collector’s garden of aloes in zone 10 is a serious temptation. As are agaves. My desire skips like a stone across both these great groups of succulents, trying not to sink into a single-minded connoisseurship that this small but insatiably eclectic garden can’t support. Blissfully ignorant is sometimes a useful state of mind when it comes to the wealth of aloes I could be growing. The few I do know are astonishing enough, like Aloe camperi, which comes into bloom late spring. The dead-of-winter blooming aloes are a miraculous sight, but an aloe that joins in with the freshness of spring growth, like Aloe camperi, has its own virtue of good timing.

Aloe camperi ‘Cornuta’ 3/16/18 at Huntington Botanical Garden

The Huntington has a March-blooming form known as Aloe camperi ‘Cornuta,’ which along with blooming a couple months earlier, has a strikingly different effect from the species.

Aloe camperi 5/31/19 photo by MB Maher

Aloe camperi is featured prominently in Ray Valentine’s Atwater Village garden, and it holds up its end of the design bargain beautifully, used in a variety of ways.

Aloe camperi 5/31/19 photo by MB Maher

I think it works beautifully whether blazing away en masse…

Aloe camperi 5/31/19 photo by MB Maher

or painting its torches into evocative vignettes.

Aloe camperi 5/31/19 photo by MB Maher
Aloe camperi 5/31/19 photo by MB Maher

Aloe camperi is one good aloe I’m getting to know (among the hundreds I don’t!)

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3 Responses to spring-blooming Aloe camperi

  1. Elaine says:

    Definitely a floriferous one. Especially like it paired with the blue wall. It would be hard not to become a collector in your climate because there are so many great plants. It’s hard enough being a collector in a climate where they are not hardy.

  2. Kris P says:

    Oh no – now you’ve got me fixated on Aloe camperi! I bet it’d look great on my back slope…

  3. hb says:

    Ha, good timing. I was just taking pix of the camperi clump on the slope this morning. Flowers are up but not open quite yet.

    Excellent photos by both you and MB. Runs in the family, I think. h

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