A simple title, and a simple post. This rock garden belongs to the Auckland Botanic Garden. It occupies a very small portion of the botanic garden, but features an incredible array of unusual plants. Once again, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.

 

Aloe Striata. The leaf margins on this aloe are even more brightly colored in person.

 

Aloe vaombe, a giant aloe from Madagascar.

 

Livistona decora, from Queensland Australia. This one is at least twenty feet tall. This palm is fast growing and is native to Magnetic Island, a place that I have had the pleasure to visit.

 

Gardenia cornuta (Natal Gardenia) from South Africa. Those round things aren’t kiwis, even though they may look the part. They are gardenia fruits. And no, I didn’t pick any to taste.

 

Euphorbia kamponii, from southeast Madagascar. Almost like the famous E tirucalli, but all silver and a much more crazed look in it’s eyes.

 

Agave parryi, of course. I find the slightest bit of joy when I see an American native plant that I’m able to say I’ve seen many times before. I almost found myself hoping to see a Douglas Fir or Ponderosa Pine, so I could say that I was THAT familiar with plants on display at an internationally acclaimed botanical garden.

 

An unlabeled Opuntia, totally covered in fruit. I don’t know what they fertilize this one with, but I need to put it on my plants.

 

Check out the size of the trunk on one of the many Yucca aloifolia (Spanish Bayonet) in the rock garden! It may be difficult to tell by the picture, but the base is at least five feet across! Massive! The agaves to the right were several feet across by themselves. I didn’t get the names, but the leaves were soft and had no spines.

 

It’s amazing how the most common things are often the most overlooked. I quickly lost track of how many different Opuntias were in the rock garden. There were so many. All of them were nice specimens, but I get distracted easily. Here’s another one.

 

Opuntia phaeacantha, another SW American native.

 

Just a few parting landscape shots…

 

The quality of rock gardening here makes my own attempts seem like growing crabgrass in a gravel driveway. I will, however, be inspired to do better.

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