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.
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 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.
I think it works beautifully whether blazing away en masse…
or painting its torches into evocative vignettes.
Aloe camperi is one good aloe I’m getting to know (among the hundreds I don’t!)