Fig. 1 Aloe arborescens (February 18, 2012 Pacific Grove, California)
A. arborescens, also known as A. perfoliata var. arborescens is commonly named as Octopus plant, Candelabra aloe, or Torch plant. The plant is multi-branched with rosettes of tentacle-like, partly concave leaves, thus the name octopus. Like most succulents, A. arborescens blooms once a year (spring to summer). Each rosette then sends out a terminal upright raceme that is covered with red flowers - transforming the plant to resemble the appearance of a chandelier (Fig. 1).
According to the AHS, this plant is a native of Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Based on the size of this plant (Fig. 1), however, the California coast seems to provide favorable conditions for its growth.
This enormous Aloe arborescens is stunning but I will not have it in my yard because its leaves are sharply-serrated.