Quiver Tree

Aloidendron dichotomum

(f.k.a. Aloe dichotoma)

The Quiver Tree is a kind of tree aloe growing in extremely arid, often rocky, areas with well-drained coarse sand as substrate. These hardy plants can live for 80 years or longer and grow to over 7m tall. Quiver Trees bear their bright yellow flowers in winter (June & July) and these are a favourite source of food for many nectar-eating birds and insects, and also baboons. Large Quiver Trees are a favoured site for the huge communal nests of the sociable weaver.

Quiver Trees occur only in Namibia and South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. Augrabies Falls National Park is one of the best locations in South Africa to see magnificent specimens of this unique plant in its natural habitat.

The San people hollowed out the branches of the Quiver Tree to make quivers in which to keep their hunting arrows, hence the name. The fibrous trunk was also hollowed out to use as a natural refrigerator for meat, vegetables and water.

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38 thoughts on “Quiver Tree

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    my first thought when seeing these wonderful trees was, ‘broccoli florets!’ they are so whimsical (the trees) and i’m sure via imagination – you often personify them the way one can turn clouds into various shapes…

    thank you for sharing so many great images of this unique tree – and for the trivia as well!

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  2. Beth

    Well, I had to do some searching for this one. Wikipedia says, “The sociable weaver (Philetairus socius), also commonly known as the common social weaver, common social-weaver, and social weaver, is a species of bird in the Weaver family endemic to Southern Africa. It is the only species assigned to the genus Philetairus. It is found in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. but their range is centered within the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. *They build large compound community nests, a rarity among birds.* These nests are perhaps the most spectacular structure built by any bird.”

    I would say so!

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  3. John

    Very beautiful and special tree! Have never seen anything like it. It grows in a variety of styles, some long, narrow, and many with thick tree trunk.

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      1. perdebytjie

        Dis nog altyd vir my een van die interessantste en mooiste voëlneste. Blykbaar is dit heerlik koel in die somer en warm in die winter, binne in daardie neste. Die voëltjies is net so oulik en raak lekker mak…sit en eet uit mens se hand!Ek wens mense kon ook so in vrede saamleef.

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Ek kan my indink dat die neste goed geinsuleer is – kyk maar net hoe effektief is n grasdak om die temperatuur in n mensewoning draaglik te hou! Maar met al daai vlooie en ander parasiete wat daarbinne moet rondkruip sal ek eerder nie vir myself probeer uitvind nie… 😀

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