Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Plant Profile: Aloe "David Verity"

Latin name: None - this is a hybrid.
Common name: Aloe "David Verity"
Originally from: hybridized in the USA from African Aloes.
Blooms: Tall spikes with red buds and yellow flowers in winter
Light: Full sun.
Water: Winter rain is enough.
Height x width: 4-6' x 6-8'
Zones: 10a-11
Where to find in P. Garden: Straight in front of you when you're sitting on the bench at PG.

The legendary David Verity passed away at the age of 90 in November 2020. Manager of the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden from the 1960s to the 1990s assisting director Mildred Mathias, he was a widely recognized expert horticulturalist and plant breeder.

Among the various genera he bred like Diplacus (Mimulus), Iochromas, and Echiums, he created a number of Aloe hybrids, mostly larger species. Only one of them carries his name, and it's the one we have at PG: Aloe "David Verity" and it was given to us by Mat McGrath of Farallon Gardens. This plant was selected and named by UCLA Biology professor Boyd Walker, who grew out some of Dave Verity's hybrids at his Pacific Palisades garden.

The parentage of this Aloe is thought to be a cross between an Aloe arborescens hybrid with Aloe × principis, which is a natural hybrid between Aloe arborescens and Aloe ferox that is also known as Aloe salm-dyckiana

It's flowering for the first time now, and it is gorgeous. The branching multi-colored flower spikes pop up above the blue-green leaves with light pinkish buds in a spiraled pattern. The buds darken to red before the flowers begin opening in a soft yellow from the bottom of the spike to the top, giving a two tone effect that's pretty spectacular.

Well drained soil, full sun and pretty much no water will suit this plant, so it's perfect for your low water garden, though in very hot areas it will need some water in summer. It can even tolerate coastal conditions to some degree, and makes a great focal point.

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