Finger Aloe Flowers

July 17, 2020

Last year, I was gifted a bunch of cuttings from a San Diego garden. My sister's friend was moving away and selling his house, which included a wonderful garden, and she took the opportunity to share that garden with me by grabbing some cuttings.

One of the plants I ended up with was Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga 'flavida' a.k.a. Finger Aloe. I didn't know this was the plant until it flowered this summer and I could better identify it.

When I first planted the cuttings, my main focus was to make sure they survived. These cuttings went in a big pot with two other types of plants. Over the winter, those other two plants did not survive. Not surprising since our high desert winters can be much colder and drier than coastal San Diego winters.

But the Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga, originally from South Africa, survived! I watched it turn colors throughout the seasons including a beautiful red in the late winter/early spring.

Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga with red leaves Above: Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga with red leaves.

This plant continued to amaze me. In the early summer this year, it sent out tall flower stalks. Eventually chili pepper shaped flower buds formed off of these stalks in an umbrella-like fashion. Soon, peach-orange colored flowers opened up.

Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga flowers

The leaves are now a lime green color, and the flowers are continuing to open and bloom a few weeks later.

Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga flower