Our Plants

December 2004 Plant Highlight: Aloe glauca
Image of Aloe glauca   Image of A. glauca

Aloe glauca is one of the many species in the genus which come from South Africa. It occurs in the Western part of the country, from east of Cape Town northward to nearly the Namibian border. This is the winter-rainfall area of South Africa, and although a few populations of the species are known from far enough inland to get summer rain, the great majority get most of their rain in winter. This, in combination with its ease of culture and resistance to frost, makes Aloe glauca an excellent plant for California gardens.

The term “glauca” refers to the milky blue-green color of the leaves. On close examination, it can be seen that these are also striped with many narrow lengthwise lines, a trait it has in common with its close relative Aloe lineata. The flowers of the two species, usually red-orange to salmon-orange in color, are nearly identical. In both, the flower spike is never branched. 

Though some forms of Aloe glauca develop a short stem in time, the southern form pictured here remains stemless. Its attractive compact rosettes of bluish leaves produce offsets, so that a clump is formed in time. This form is also notable for its long flowering season; our plant often puts out a succession of flower spikes over a good portion of the year, from autumn through to spring.

Text and Photos by Brian Kemble

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Centennial Celebration
We are celebrating Garden Founder Ruth Bancroft's 100th year throughout 2009. If you would like to get involved in this historic milestone, you can help by contributing to the Centennial Fund or by attending on of our many special events this year.
Grant Funders
The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position, and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our Volunteer Coordinator’s position, as well as for their generous support over the years.
The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy