Aloe dichotoma

Botanical name

Aloe dichotoma

Other names

Quiver tree, kokerboom (Afrikaans)

Family 

Asphodelaceae

Dimensions

A tree aloe, can be over 4 m in height

Description of stem

Characteristic multiple branching higher up (as opposed to A. ramosissima where the branching starts low down); forms a rounded crown of rosettes; the bark is yellow to light-brown, displaying scattered smooth and scaly patches with marked edges

Description of leaves

Blue-green, recurving and smooth leaves, about 5 cm wide at the base; small teeth on the distinctly paler or yellow edges

Description of flowers

Yellow flowers on branched panicles with the pistil and stamens protruding from the perianth

Description of seed/fruit

 

Description of roots

 

Variation

 

Propagation and cultivation

Many transplanted specimens die when planted outside the range of conditions of the natural environment, adding to the survival risk of this plant; the seed propagate easily and respond readily in well-drained soil

Tolerances

Extreme temperatures (below 0°C and up to over 40°C) and low rainfall, (less than 125 mm p.a.), characterise much of the natural distribution area, giving an indication of where it will grow well; does not tolerate too much water or frost

Uses

Common name derived from ancient use of the stem as a container for the arrows of hunters from the San tribes

Ecological rarity

Popular and threatened

Pests and diseases

 

Other

 

Location

Rocky, arid areas, usually sandy soil

Distribution (SA provinces)

Northern Cape

Country

South Africa, Namibia

Botanical Gardens