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Awesome Aloe

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Tree and multi-stem Aloes, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Aloe is known to many as the miracle lotion found in hand and body creams to soften and repair skin, but to horticulturists, its a genus of flowering succulent that blossoms at the end of autumn.

There are 500 species of aloe. True aloe (Aloe vera) is the most well-known of them, though there’s also: French, bitter, flat-flowered, tilt-headed, soap and Zimbabwe among the many types of tree and brushy aloes. The name of the last of these gives you an idea from where they originated… from Africa to Greece along the Mediterranean Sea.

Reporting from the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, Frank McDonough says the aloe there are primed to peak during Christmas week, though they’re already colorful (the Arboretum will be closed on Christmas Day).

Aloe blooms are yellow, orange, pink and red with their large reservoir-like leaves storing water captured in winter for drier summer months.

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen Anne Cottage, LA County Arboretum (12/16/17) Diana McDonough

Elsewhere at the LA County Arboretum, colored lights provided holiday cheer with trees changing color this past Saturday evening. Such special events for nighttime photography are noted on the arboretum’s calendar. Several gardens hold similar events during the holidays, including Descanso Gardens.

A curtain of gingko leaves, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba persist in their long-lasting fall display at the LA County Arboretum with curtains of their bright yellow leaves heavily draped from branches. Elsewhere, liquidambar and pomegranates are still carrying color right to the last day of autumn (Dec. 20).

LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens – Peak to Past Peak – You Almost Missed It.

Snowball viburnum, backgrounded by showy gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Pomegranate at entrance, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Chinese pistache, Bauer Lawn, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko biloba, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingkos and steles, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Liquidambar attracting attention, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

Gingko and Liquidambar, Crescent Garden, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

A curtain of gingko leaves, LA County Arboretum (12/19/17) Frank McDonough

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