Winter 2012 Arboretum Library E-News

Hello all:
Wow!  The Arboretum Library's San Jose State University Library and Information Science Intern, Kristin Abraham, created an online exhibit of early Southern California nursery catalogs while she was here last semester.

The exhibit concentrates on fruit and vegetable catalogs from the early 1900s until World War II.
It is a wonderful grouping of materials from our earliest collections.  She also made a display of them in the cabinet in the middle of the Library.  Come see them in person!
Click here for the New items in the Arboretum Library
Well….I wouldn’t exactly call the books “new”…The 171 titles again show the hard work of my interns trying to bring the catalog up-to-date; cataloging previously un-cataloged materials and moving items from the old classification system and wooden card catalog to the new classification system and the online catalog.  We did receive a wonderful gift from Kerry Morris whose books moved swiftly into the collection.  There are in the new book list too; some very nice, inspirational, books on gardens from other Mediterranean climate areas of the world.  The one on Mallorca made me swoon.  

The new magazine articles list is cutting edge.  The termite article went right to work with a challenge we have down at the Depot.  Let me know if you are interested in any of these articles.
Here is the list of upcoming books for February 2012-June 2012 for the Reading the Western Landscape Book Group
The next meeting is Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 7:00 p.m

The book is Among Friends by M. F. K. Fisher; San Francisco : North Point Press. 1971.
“Among Friends is M. F. K. Fisher's fascinating memoir of her childhood in Whittier, California. In sharing these memorable and moving portraits of her family and of the town, we are given an enchanting glimpse into the early life of one of our most delightful and best-loved writers.” from
Here is a link to the books and questions we have finished.
Tell your friends! 
The Bookworms story time themes and dates are below:
The story time is recommended for children ages 3-8.
This is a free program for members and free with admission for non-members.  Meet in the Entrance Rotunda.
It Blooms Every Year:  Aloes
Wednesdays, January 4 & 18, 10 am
Saturday, January 21, 2 pm
Let Us Have Lettuce:  Winter Gardening
Wednesdays, February 1 & 15, 10 am
Saturday, February 18, 2 pm
Flitting from Flower to Flower:  Pollinators
Wednesdays, March 7 & 21, 10 am
Saturday, March 17, 2 pm
The Arboretum Library hours are:
Open Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Open Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Open Sundays, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Come visit!
Remember we are circulating to Arboretum staff and members.  The circulation period for books is 3 weeks with 2 renewals if no one else wants the item.  You can renew by e-mail, phone or in person.  The circulation period for current magazines is 3 days with 2 renewals if no one else wants the item.
Our Botanical Information Consultant (for plant advice) is available Tuesday-Saturday,, or 626-821-3239.
For up to the minute Library News, check us out on the Arboretum’s Facebook Page.
Happy reading!  

What’s Blooming? South African Aloes

Amateur Botanist Confuses Most Amateurs

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden’s collection of 106 different Aloe taxa represents over ¼ of the world’s 365 species, and almost ½ of the 125 aloe species endemic to the region with the most Aloe species of any region in the world, South Africa. Up until 1950, no comprehensive work on South African aloes had been published. It was then that Gilbert Westacott Reynolds published The Aloes of South Africa. In this rather comprehensive guide, Reynolds did a thorough job of describing the South African Aloe species and documenting some of their ethnobotanical uses. Unfortunately his key, the part of his book that is supposed to help you identify the different types of aloes, is esoteric and somewhat confusing. Most amateur botanists would have a tough time following it; ironic considering Reynolds himself was an amateur botanist.

Wyk & Smith Clean Up the Confusion

Fortunately for the legions of plant fanciers that collect, breed, and field identify South African Aloes, the Guide to the Aloes of South Africa by Ben-Erik van Wyk & Gideon Smith is comprehensive and highly usable. Wyk & Smith abandoned Reynolds clumsy key for a simplified one that groups Aloes into ten easily understood types. This simple key coupled with excellent photographic illustrations of the 125 South African species makes Guide to the Aloes of South Africa, a very easy to use plant manuel.

You Can Distinguish the 10 Aloe Types Yourself at the Aboretum

The best way to see the different types of aloes as described by Wyke & Smith is to travel the Aloe Walk here at the Arboretum and view examples of the ten different classifications as described by them. Below is a map with “pins” showing the locations of examples of Wyk & Smith’s types. The image of Google map shows the location of aloes available at the Arboretum that exemplify the Wyk & Smith classification.

Map to Different Aloe Species

The Aloe Walk is located catty-corner from the Peacock Cafe.

Imagery courtesy of Google Earth.

Key to Map List

A. Single stemmed aloe type (A. marlothii)

B. Spotted aloe type (A. fosteri)

C. Spotted aloe type (A. verdoorniae)

E. Spotted aloe type (A. transvalensis)

F. Speckled aloe type (A. gariepensis)

G. Tree aloe type (A. bainesii)

H. Grass aloe type (A. thomposoniae)

J. Rambling aloe type (A. ciliaris)

K. Creeping aloe type (A. distans)

L. M. Dwarf aloe type (A. brevifolia)

M. Single stemmed aloe type (Aloe speciosa)

N. Single stemmed aloe type (A. ferox & A. marlothii)

Not pictured on map; creeping aloe type (A. distans)

Aloe brevifolia

Aloe brevifolia just north of Bauer Lawn.

The following describes and lists the 10 different types based on Wyk & Smith classification system, and lists aloe species available at the Arboretum that exemplify each type.

Dwarf Aloes
Small aloes that do not have grass-like leaves They are usually found in clusters with more than one stem.
Aloe brevifolia
Aloe humilis
Aloe brevifolia ‘Variegata’

Aloe thompsoniae

Grass aloe type, Aloe thompsoniae

Grass Aloes
These aloes have grassy, only slightly succulent leaves and are stemless; the flowers are always single stemmed.  
Aloe thompsoniae
Aloe ecklonis
Aloe minima

Multi Stemmed Aloe: A. arborescens

Aloe arborescens,  a multi-stemmed aloe type at sunset.

Multi-Stemmed Aloes
These are shrubby aloes that have multiple stems close to the ground.
Aloe castanea
Aloe falcata
Aloe mutabilis
Aloe vanbalenii
Aloe arborescens

Aloe ciliaris -a rambling aloe

Aloe ciliaris,  a rambling aloe type

Rambling Aloes
These aloes can be quite bushy and can climb on rocks, trees, and shrubs.
Aloe tenuior
Aloe ciliaris

Single stemmed aloes: A. ferox(left), A. speciosa(middle), and A. Marlothii(right)

Single-stemmed aloes: A. ferox(left), A. speciosa(middle), and A. marlothii(right)

Single-Stemmed Aloes
These aloes have one main stem, some growing as tall as 27 feet (Aloe rupestris)
Aloe marlothii var. marlothii
Aloe ferox
Aloe vryheidensis
Aloe thraskii
Aloe excelsa
Aloe littoralis
Aloe marlothii
Aloe speciosa
Aloe africana
Aloe alooides
Aloe spectabilis
Aloe pluridens

Aloe transvaalensis

Aloe transvalensis, a spotted aloe type. Notice the elongated spots on the leaves.

Spotted Aloes
Spotted aloes differ from speckled aloes in that their spots are always oblong and their flower tubes are inflated near their base. They are also mostly stemless or have very short stems.

Aloe burgersfortensis
Aloe affinis
Aloe affinis hybrid
Aloe branddraaiensis

Aloe parvibracteata

Aloe vogtsii
Aloe verdoorniae
Aloe immaculata
Aloe transvalensis
Aloe lettyae
Aloe pruinosa
Aloe mutans
Aloe grandidentata

Aloe burgerfortensis

Aloe gariepensis, a speckled aloe type.

Speckled Aloes
These are aloes with noticeable markings that do not fit into the category of ‘spotted’ aloes. They usually have a small stem, and the markings can be small, distinctly  round spots or sometimes streaks.  The flowers of speckled aloes are not inflated at the base as are the spotted aloes.
Aloe framesii
Aloe khamiesensis
Aloe pictifolia
Aloe gariepensis
Aloe microstigma

Aloe cryptopoda

Aloe cryptopoda, a stemless aloe type.

Stemless Aloes
These aloes form rosettes and have no stems. They are mostly single rosettes but some species can form clusters.
Aloe striata
Aloe petricola
Aloe krapohliana
Aloe buhrii
Aloe chabaudii
Aloe cryptopoda
Aloe aculeata
Aloe peglerae

Aloe bainesii

Aloe bainesii, a tree aloe type (right) and Aloe ferox, a single-stemmed aloe type (left). Notice A. bainesii does not have a skirt of dead leaves like A. ferox.

Tree Aloes
The big difference between these and large single stemmed aloes is the branching structure of the main stem and the lack of dead leaves. Tree aloes usually shed their dead leaves.
Aloe plicatilis
Aloe bainesii
Aloe dichotoma

Aloe distans

Aloe distans a creeping aloe; this one hasn’t fallen over yet.

Creeping Aloes

These aloes grow to a foot or two in heigth and then topple to the ground where they continue growing; thus appearing to ‘creep’ along the ground.

Aloe distans. A specimen can be found just north of the A. ciliaris pictured on the map.

To delve into the fascinating world of aloes, please visit the Arboretum’s library and check out the following publications:

1.    Aloe Publisher: [Pretoria] : South African Aloe and Succulent Society

       Call Number: Periodical

2.   Aloe juddii, a new species from the Western Cape, and a A. gracilis var. decumbens raised to species level / Ernst J. van Jaarsveld.

      Author: van Jaarsveld, Ernst J.

      Aloe, v. 45, no. 1 (2008), p. 4-10.

3.    Aloe vera / Carol Miller Kent Publisher: Arlington, Va. : Kent, c1979.

      Author: Kent, Carol Miller.

      Call Number: RS165 .A48 K37a

4.   Les Aloes de Madagascar : revision / G.W. Reynolds.

      Publisher: Tananarive : Institut de Recherche scientifique de Madagascar, 1958.

      Call Number: QK495 .L72 R49 1958

5.    The Aloes of South Africa.

      Author: Reynolds, Gilbert Westacott.

      Publisher: Cape Town, Balkema (A.A.), 1969.

      Call Number: QK495 .L72 R462as 1969

      6.    The Aloes of South Africa / by Gilbert Westacott Reynolds.

      Publisher: Rotterdam : A.A. Balkema, 1982.

      Call Number: QK495 .L72 R462as 1982

7.   The Aloes of tropical Africa and Madagascar / by Gilbert Westacott Reynolds.

      Publisher: Mbabane, Swaziland : The Trustees, The Aloes Book Fund, 1966.

      Call Number: QK495 .L72 R462At 1966

    8.   Documented utility and biocultural value of Aloe L. (Asphodelaceae) : a review / Olwen M. Grace, [et al].

       Author: Grace, Olwen M.

       Economic botany, v. 63, no. 2 (June 2009), p. 167-178.

9.     Flora of southern Africa : which deals with the territories of the Republic of South Africa, Basutoland, Swaziland and South West Africa.

        Publisher: [Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, Dept. of Agricultural Technical Services] 1963-<2005 >     

        Call Number: QK394 .F632f

 10.  Grass aloes in the South African veld / Charles Craib ; paintings by Gillian Condy ; drawings by Murray Ralfe.

        Publisher: Hatfield, South Africa : Umdaus Press, 2005.

        Call Number: QK495 .A835 C73 2005

11.  Guide to the aloes of South Africa / Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith.

      Publisher: Pretoria, South Africa : Briza Publications, 1996.

      Call Number: QK495 .L72 V35 1996

12. Guide to the aloes of South Africa / Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith.

      Publisher: Pretoria, South Africa : Briza Publications, 2003.

      Call Number: QK495 .L72 V35 2003


The Arboretum is open 9am to 5pm.

We welcome you to the Arboretum!
The garden reopened December 26, a week earlier than scheduled.  We thank you all for your support and patience during the Arboretum's closure since the December 1st windstorm.  Arboretum staff members, above from left, David Okihara, Joe Valenzuela, Theresa Richau, Glenn Klevdal, Angela Carranza, Irma Reddig and Rafael Cano Jr., all look forward to seeing visitors again in the garden.
Shortly after the windstorm, more than 150 workers from multiple public agencies worked with the entire Arboretum staff on the massive cleanup. We are also enormously grateful to our volunteers.  Our assessment of damage showed 235 trees a total loss and over 700 requiring extensive restoration pruning. As you may have seen or heard, the LA Times, KPCC, KNBC, KCBS and others have reported the Arboretum story.
The Arboretum Tree Fund
We very much appreciate the outpouring of community support and donations to the Arboretum Tree Fund, the single largest tree planting campaign in the garden’s history. If you would like to contribute to a new generation of trees to ensure the Arboretum is a magnificent public resource for years to come. please help with a GIFT ONLINE, or by MAIL. Please make the check payable to the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation, 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA. 91007. To make a donation by phone, please call Brittany Fabeck in our Development Office at 626.821-3237.  Please include “Tree Fund” on your donation.  Thank you so much for your support!

© 2015 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • 626.821.3222 • 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007 • Website Design by Kirk Projects.

© 2015 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Phone: 626.821.3222

301 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007

Site Design by Kirk Projects