Photographer's Note

The wonderfully unusual Aloe dichotoma (Quivertree or K÷cherbaum) are splendid examples of local flora in the southern part of Namibia and northwestern parts of South Africa. They look like trees, but are in fact not. They are a kind of aloe; they produce flowers in early (southern) winter (June-July) only when at least 20 to 30 years old. This is also the time when they first make branches. They are very resistant to drought and keep their water reserves in their spongy tissue. However, when they die, the remaining "wood" is very hollow and light, so one person can lift a whole trunk of such a plant.

In the past, San people used their branches as quivers, therefore the name. The grown-up examples seen here are on a private farm called Gariganus and are thought to be a few centuries old. This is the densest part of the so-called "forest" that is also protected as a national monument. The light was very good, though it was getting quite cold.

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Additional Photos by Kristof Kranjc (kristofk) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 149 W: 29 N: 144] (791)
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