January has brought unusually cold temperatures across the Southwest, including in the Phoenix area. But that hasn’t stopped a few plants from bursting with radiant, colorful blooms.
Some aloes in particular have started to flower since December, and several more will flower in the next few months.
Aloes are a genus of succulent plants native to southern Africa, Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula and various islands in the Indian Ocean. Though they look similar to agaves, aloes are from a completely different plant family. A major difference is that while agaves bloom only once in their lifetimes, aloes will bloom year after year.
Most aloes have a rosette of large, fleshy leaves. Their flowers come in a variety of colors, ranging from white, yellow, orange, red and even pink. The flowers are tubular and form in clusters that are supported by tall sturdy stalks that rise from the rosettes.
Each year, aloe blooms put on a show — a kaleidoscope of sunset colors — during the brisk winter months at the Garden and into the spring as well.
Below are a few Aloe species to keep an eye out for on the trails
Aloe ferox | Common name: Cape Aloe or Bitter Aloe
Aloe × hybrid ‘Hercules’ (Aloe barberae x A. dichotoma) | Hercules Aloe
Aloe cryptopoda | Common name: Spire Aloe