Plant Highlight: Aloe ukambensis
Not commonly seen in cultivation, Aloe ukambensis is a stemless species from Kenya with rosettes of leaves up to a yard across. The leaves are wide and have numerous closely-spaced stripes running lengthwise. It turns an attractive dark-red color if given a bright sunny position. The plants may remain single, but often they will form a clump of several heads. The flower stalk bears several branches, with a tuft of red flowers at the end of each. Initially the flower clusters have pointed tips, but they become rounded as flowering progresses. In California this species flowers mainly in October and November. At The Ruth Bancroft Garden, it is planted in the bed that is enclosed in plastic over the winter months as a protection against freezing temperatures.