Aloidendron pillansii (SA Tree List No. 30), the giant quiver tree and until recently Aloe pillansii, carries its few big bare branches in an erect and stately manner. The rosettes of grey-green to blue-green leaves crown the stems and clasp them, while dead leaves fall early. The whitish, pale grey or creamy brown bark is smooth higher up, coarse lower down, where the stem broadens notably close to the ground.
The inflorescence is much branched, emerging from among the lower leaves on the rosette in horizontal or angled down positions. Each raceme in the panicle is about cylindrical, the perianths yellow, swollen in the centre and tinged green at their segment tips.
The distribution range of A. pillansii has been aptly described by Van Wyk and Smith (2003): from Cornell’s Kop in the Richtersveld to the Brandberg in Namibia, at altitudes between 250 m and 100 m. The land is stony, often sandy with mostly low shrub and succulent vegetation that accentuates the height of the A. pillansii trees.
The seed germinates easily, but the plant does not relish habitats different from home (Jeppe, 1969; Coates Palgrave, 2002).