Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hesperaloe parviflora: I fell in love with this plant 35 years ago

This individual, in fact. I've gained a bit of weight since then and she's grown quite a lot too; it looks good on her. Actually, she seems to have become 3 plants at some point over the last few years. I don't remember the date, but I do remember the first day we met. She was young and in bloom; I had never even seen her picture in a book and was unprepared to find anything so exotic living in the middle of the Rose Garden at Brookside Gardens. She was my first of the, what does Yucca Do call them? Woody Lilies.

"Red Aloe", she indeed had red flowers whose hue began in the orangey-red range that is common in aloes but was so much deeper than any I had ever seen. It was years before any of her kind appeared in local Garden Centers, but every once in a while someone will bring in a handful of 1 gallon pots. I have been tempted to grow one but resisted the urge staying true to my first love. I have strayed over the years; A Yucca here, an Agave there but I have basically remained true. There was that tiny Aloe from Madagascar I met in Philadelphia a few years back. I set her up in a community pot, she's looking over my shoulder as I write this but she will never take the place of my first Woody Lily.

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