Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Tritoniopsis, Melianthus and Metalasia. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Bulbs and Shrubs into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 160 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Regions Album is the one on the Langkloof. A new Parks and Gardens Album for the Caledon Wildflower Garden has also been created from existing material.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Aloe plicatilis

Botanical name

Aloe plicatilis

Other names

Fan aloe; waaieraalwyn (Afrikaans)




A multistemmed, large or tree aloe with numerous branches, reaching over 4 m in height; the branching is dichotomous, i.e. into two equal new stems on every occasion

Description of stem

Short, grey, smooth, but become rough, darker and thick in mature plants, dry leaves do not remain on the stem

Description of leaves

Grey-green or blue-green flat, strap-like, about 30 cm in length, 4 cm wide, with a waxy surface, arranged in an erect fan shape; margins smooth or sometimes with very small teeth along the edges of the upper third of the leaf

Description of flowers

A single, cylindric to conical raceme of red flowers per fan of leaves during late winter and spring; fleshy with yellow tepal ends

Desciption of seed/fruit


Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation

Grown from seed or truncheons; prefers cool, damp conditions in acid soil with mulching; watered in winter given where it comes from, good drainage; slow-growing; gardeners growing it in hot and otherwise adverse conditions find that the leaf apices dry out and turn black


Not resilient, i.e. when deviating from the natural habitat of winter rainfall mountain regions


Popular garden or container plant

Ecological rarity

Small and shrinking natural habitat in Franschhoek to Elandskloof region; popularity among gardeners

Pests and diseases



Heinrich Bernhard Oldenland who was the master gardener and superintendent at the Dutch East India Company Gardens in Cape Town around the end of the 17th century first named this plant: Aloe africana arborescens montana non spinosa folio longissimo, plicatili, flore rubro; fortunately this name did not persist after Linnaeus came on the scene around 1750! (Info from the site of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America)


Mountainous fynbos areas on steep slopes in sandy, acid, well-drained soil; high winter rainfall

Distribution (SA provinces)

Western Cape


South Africa

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Item of Interest