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Quiver tree

Aloidendron dichotoma

Kokerboom (Afr.), Boskokerboom (Afr.), Die dikke (Afr.)

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The quiver tree is an extremely tough and robust aloe that can become over 80 years old and grow to heights of approximately 7-9 m. The nectar produced by the flowers attract sugar birds that feed on them in the winter months. The young flower buds are also edible and is similar in appearance and taste to asparagus. Weavers often build huge communal nests in these trees to protect their young from predators on the ground. The roots of this plant is often used as traditional medicine to treat asthma and tuberculosis.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Winter
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Seeds should be allowed to dry for at least 3 months after flowering has taken place before they are harvested.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds during the spring or summer months in planting trays containing river sand. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. Replant in the desired position when large enough to handle.

Special features

Attracts birds
Sugarbirds feed off the nectar that is produced by the flowers.
Drought resistant
Grows well in arid regions and suits best in dry and hot rock gardens.

Geography

Origin
South Africa (Northern Cape) and Namibia
Natural climate
Arid, semi-arid

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
The roots are used as traditional medicine to treat asthma and tuberculosis.
Edible
The flowers are edible and are similar in taste to asparagus.

Personality

Family
Asphodelaceae
Flower colour
, Yellow
Scent
None

Problems

Overwatering or poor drainage may lead to root rot, but is seldom a problem where plants are watered correctly.

Companion plants

Plants such as Cotyledon orbiculata, Crassula rupestris, Cyphostemma juttae, and Tylecodon paniculata are special companion plants to quiver trees and will completely transform any garden.

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