Quiver Tree (Aloidendron dichotomum) in the Aloes Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Quiver Tree
Give a thumbs up Kokerboom
Give a thumbs up Aloe

Botanical names:
Aloidendron dichotomum Accepted
Aloe dichotoma Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Dry
Plant Height: 30 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Summer
Inflorescence Height: 12 inches
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Flowers
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Hummingbirds
Other Beneficial Insects
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Can handle transplanting
Other info: Sow seeds in sandy soil. Seeds germinate in a few weeks at temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees F. Seedlings need moist but well-drained soil.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Offsets
Other: Stems cut below a node root easily. Cut a stem that has gotten leggy, let it dry out for at least a few hours to form a seal on the cut surface. Place the cutting in rooting medium kept moist, but not wet, until roots form.
Pollinators: Birds
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

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Photo gallery:
Location: South Africa.
By Orsola
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Location: South Africa.
By Orsola
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Location: South Africa.
By Orsola
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Location: San Luis ObispoDate: 2018-01-26
By mantisOH
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Date: 2011-01-17Photo by Andrea Moro
By SongofJoy
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Date: 2012-07-16Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Date: 2007-06-19Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Date: 2012-01-24Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (Mobot) in St LouisDate: 2016-06-18
By jmorth
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Date: 2007-08-17Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Date: 2007-03-25Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
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Date: 2014-09-04Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
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Date: 2007-05-29Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Date: 2014-09-14Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Date: 2007-06-09Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Date: 2007-06-19Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Date: 2012-07-15Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
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Date: 2007-06-09Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
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Date: 2007-05-26Photo courtesy of: Martin Heigan
By admin
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (Mobot) in St LouisDate: 2016-06-18
By jmorth
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This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by Bonehead (Pacific NW - Zone 8b) on Mar 16, 2018 4:15 PM

National plant of Namibia. The branches were used to make quivers, hence the name. Insects, birds, and mammals are drawn to the nectar, and it provides nesting sites for sociable weavers. Interestingly, a hollowed out dead plant can be used as a natural refrigerator as the fibrous tissue of the trunk has a cooling effect. Young flower buds are edible and taste similar to asparagus.

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Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Nov 22, 2013 1:38 PM

Species listed as 'Vulnerable' by the IUCN.

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Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Mar 17, 2018 10:39 AM

Large, fat, slow-growing tree aloe from a very harsh and dry winter rainfall area in northwestern South Africa, extending into Namibia. Trunk has a rough, irregular texture. This tree may reach close to 30 feet tall after many decades. It branches regularly and dichotomously (by division of the rosettes at the crown) once the stem has reached a certain height, giving rise to a dense, rounded canopy. Flowers are bright yellow, ventricose (with a little belly), and appear on upright inflorescences at the tops of the rosettes with exserted stamens and style. They are pollinated by weavers, sunbirds, white-eyes, and starlings in habitat, where the branches are often host to weaver nests.

Best suited to dry winter-rainfall (Mediterranean) climates like southern California. Refractory to summer water. Do not overwater during summer. Limited summer rainfall may be tolerated by landscape plants with excellent drainage; potted plants may do best with minimum summer water. Landscape plants develop the best form when grown in full sun without any supplemental water, once they are established. Provide excellent drainage in containers and in the ground.

Related to two other tree aloes from the same area, A. ramossisimum and A. pillansii, which are generally similar but can be resolved by differences in form and flowers. A. ramosissimum (which has at times been considered synonymous with dichotomum) is a shorter, bushier plant to about 10 feet with many branches starting close to the base. The very rare A. pillansii may be slightly taller than dichotomum but it branches much less, and its inflorescences are horizontal or pendulous, produced from leaf axils lower in the rosette.

This aloe was recently moved along with a few other tree aloes to a separate genus (Aloidendron) because they were determined by molecular studies to be closely related to each other, and distinct from Aloe. It will be found in publications more than a few years old as Aloe dichotoma. It appeared on the Namibian 50 cent coin. It is one of the parents (with A. barberae) of "Hercules", a faster and much less touchy hybrid which favors the dichotomum parent when grown on the dry side. Threatened by climate change.

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