Scientific Name
Aloiampelos decumbens (Reynolds) Klopper & Gideon.F.Sm.
Higher Classification
Aloe decumbens (Reynolds) Van Jaarsv., Aloe gracilis Haw. var. decumbens Reynolds
Common Names
Rankaalwyn (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable D2
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Aloiampelos decumbens is a rare, range-restricted habitat specialist. It has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 13 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 28 km². It is known from five locations, and potentially threatened by competition from alien invasive plants.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the Langeberg Mountains in the Western Cape, where it occurs between Heidelberg and Cloete's Pass.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos
It occurs on steep rocky slopes and cliffs in sandstone fynbos.
Much of the lower slopes of the Langeberg Mountains around Garcia's Pass have been planted with timber plantations. This is unlikely to have directly impacted this species, as its specific habitat is unsuitable to plantations. However, escaping pine seedlings could potentially outcompete native species if left unmanaged. Alien invasive species have been recorded in this species' habitat further east.

Plants were described as locally common in the 1960s (Reynolds 1969), but restricted to a few isolated places. According to Van Wyk and Smith (2014), this species is becoming increasingly rare. Van Jaarsveld (2008) however reports that the species is locally abundant on north- and south-facing slopes in the Langeberg.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloiampelos decumbens (Reynolds) Klopper & Gideon.F.Sm.VU D22014.1
Aloe gracilis Haw. var. decumbens ReynoldsData Deficient Victor (2002)
Aloe gracilis Haw. var. decumbens ReynoldsRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Grace, O.M., Klopper, R.R., Smith, G.F., Crouch, N.R., Figueiredo, E., Rønsted, N. and Van Wyk, A.E. 2013. A revised generic classification for Aloe (Xanthorrhoeaceae subfam. Asphodeloideae). Phytotaxa 76(1):7-14.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red Data List of southern African plants. 1. Corrections and additions. Bothalia 26(2):177-182.

Manning, J.C. and Goldblatt, P. 2012. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 1: The Core Cape Flora. Strelitzia 29. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Reynolds, G.W. 1969. The Aloes of South Africa. A.A. Balkema, Cape Town.

Van Jaarsveld, E.J. 2008. Aloe juddii, a new species from the Western Cape, and A. gracilis var. decumbens raised to species level. Aloe 45(1):4-10.

Van Wyk, B.-E. and Smith, G.F. 2014. Guide to the Aloes of South Africa. (Third ed.). Briza Publications, Pretoria.

Victor, J.E. 2002. South Africa. In: J.S. Golding (ed), Southern African plant Red Data Lists. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 14 (pp. 93-120), SABONET, Pretoria.

von Staden, L. 2019. Aloiampelos decumbens (Reynolds) Klopper & Gideon.F.Sm. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2021/09/21

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Distribution map

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