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Friday, July 18, 2008

Aloe "Assorted Succulent"

I bought this aloe years ago at a home improvement warehouse that shall remain unnamed. Its helpful plastic tag read "Assorted succulents" and advised me to plant my purchase in the sun and not to water it too much. There are hundreds of aloe species and I haven't gotten around to identifying this one yet. Since planting it I've taken many cuttings and rooted them but I do believe this clump shown is the original. Those are acacia cultriformis seed pods that have fallen onto the aloe from the tree above.

Now that succulents and cacti are so popular, you would think nursery stock would be routinely identified, but no. Even at a very posh, expensive garden/outdoor lifestyle center that shall remain unnamed I find tables of beautiful 3- and 4-inch plants tagged as "assorted succulents". I guess its not important to know whether your aloe will attain tree-like stature or whether your new crassula friend is monocarpic. Maybe the surprise and discovery of unknown attributes is part of the fun of collecting these personable plants but I like to think knowledge is generally better than ignorance.

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