Quiver Tree Facts
- The distinctive and attention-grabbing term of Quiver Tree serves as the common name for a highly unusual variety of plant. In addition, within certain portions of its habitat range, some people also know the amazing plant as the kokerboom. Furthermore, the remarkable flora also bears the less pronounceable scientific name of the Aloidendron dichotomum.
- But, the most often used common name is somewhat confusing. This holds true because, despite that name, it isn’t actually a tree at all. In point of fact, this fabulous plant actually classifies as an incredible variety of succulent. Further, its common name derives from the language of the local Indigenous Peoples. They traditionally use its branches to make quivers for their arrows.
- For the moment, the IUCN does not list the awesome Quiver Tree on its Red List. Nevertheless, this could potentially change in the near future. That’s because its numbers also appear to be diminishing throughout its range. Loss of its native habitat serves as one of the dangers it faces. But undoubtedly, its greatest threat comes in the form of ongoing climate change.
Quiver Tree Physical Description
This misunderstanding of the nature of the Quiver Tree comes as no great surprise, for one very good reason. That’s the fact of its sheer physical size. Individual specimens of this magnificent type of flora can sometimes attain heights of as much as 30 ft (9.14 m). However, the great majority of specimens remain much smaller than that. Yet, its height alone isn’t what makes it stand out from other succulents.
Firstly, the remarkable Quiver Tree develops a long, slender trunk, much like a tree. Secondly, from this springs numerous long branches. Each of these has a very smooth outer covering, along with a thin layer of off-white powder. The bark has a light brownish color. But, this also has a scaled pattern, along with razor-sharp edges. Its leavers present as bluish green, and its flowers display a brilliant yellow.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Angiosperms
- Order: Asparagales
- Family: Asphodelaceae
- Genus: Aloidendron
- Species: A. dichotomum
Quiver Tree Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The truly astonishing succulent commonly known as the Quiver Tree inhabits a moderately large portion of the world. That’s because the plant evolved as native to the area that now forms the countries of South Africa and Namibia, in Africa. However, within the confines of South Africa, this incredible form of succulent primarily occurs in the Norther Cape region of the country.
Given the region of the globe in which it evolved the preferred habitat of this species comes as no great surprise. Due to its evolution, it only appears in extremely hot, arid regions. Furthermore, and also somewhat surprisingly, even within this area, it has highly specific requirements. That’s because, not only must the region be hot and arid, it must also be quite rocky in nature.
Uniquely, the vast majority of specimens of the Quiver Tree live in large groupings. These large groupings actually bear the name of Quiver Tree Forests. These also play vital roles in their local ecosystems. That’s due to the fact that many serve as home to nest of birds known as weavers. These avians construct enormous communal nests within the dense branches, which serves as a deterrent to predators.