Main Page

An Exotic
World of Plants

The Plants
of the Palm House

Aloë dichotoma

English name: Quiver Tree/Kokerboom

Latin name: Aloë dichotoma

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae - Xanthorrhoeaceae

Origin: Republic of South Africa, Namibia

This evergreen tree reaches, in its natural setting, a height of 9 metres and a crown width of 6 metre. The crown is round and dense as a result of its spreading branches. These are smooth, with a thin, whitish powder covering, allowing the sun's rays to be reflected. The leaves are fleshy, blue-green, spiked on the edges, and grow to a length of 20 to 30 cm. New leaves form rosettes at the end of the branches, and are sometimes arranged in rows. The flowers are small, light yellow and bunched. This species blooms from June to July. The young buds are edible, and look and taste rather like asparagus. Interestingly, the dead trunks of large trees can be used as a kind of refrigerator, as their fibrous tissue contributes to a cooling of the interior, as a result of air flow. After hollowing out the trunks, Bushmen store water, meat and vegetables in them. Further, it has been given the common name “quiver tree” because the Bushmen have used the bark from its branches  to prepare arrow quivers.

Aloë dichotoma