Aloes are some of the toughest, most reliable undemanding and striking landscape plants available. A flowering succulent, the genus is native to Arabia, Madagascar and Africa but is most diverse in South Africa.
They are amongst the most voluptuous and showy of succulents. In Australia, there are several varieties available depending on climatic region and the size of the garden. Brisbane Botanic Gardens, at Mount Coot-tha has a wonderful collection of aloes. There are over 300 species and hybrids.
Aloes are evergreen perennials, with architectural foliage that can be decoratively toothed or almost smooth, vibrantly green, blue or grey. Frosts, or cool winter temperatures, can often darken or tinge the foliage of some species with red - a wonderful seasonal bonus. Most aloes flower from autumn to spring making them essential ingredients for winter gardens.
Some to look out for include Aloe cameronii because of its firey flowers. They dribble nectar, attracting honey bees and birds into the garden, bringing life in the middle of winter. It’s adaptable to a range of soils and it doesn’t mind frost.