Scrambling Aloe

Scientific Name
Aloiampelos gracilis (Haw.) Klopper & Gideon.F.Sm.
Higher Classification
Aloe gracilis Haw., Aloe laxiflora N.E.Br.
Common Names
Rankaalwee (a), Rankaalwyn (a), Scrambling Aloe (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Aloiampelos gracilis has a restricted range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1347 km² It has no severe threats and is therefore not suspected to be in danger of extinction.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape
This species is endemic to the Eastern Cape, where it occurs in the Kouga Mountains and Baviaanskloof eastwards to Port Elizabeth.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Albany Thicket, Forest, Fynbos
It occurs in partially shaded ecotonal areas between fynbos and thicket and fynbos and forest. It can be found both on mountain slopes and tops as well as stony places on the coastal plain.
Historical collections indicate that this species may have occurred on the coastal plains around Port Elizabeth, where subpopulations have no doubt declined due to urban expansion, agriculture and alien plant infestations. At present most known subpopulations occur within an extensive network of protected areas in mountainous areas and the continued survival of this species is assured. According to Van Wyk and Smith (2014) this species is not threatened.

This species is known from only a few records, but is likely to be under-sampled as it occurs in wilderness areas that remain botanically poorly explored.

Population trend
A variety of A. gracilis from the Langeberg Mountains near Riversdale is now recognized as a separate species, Aloiampelos decumbens (Van Jaarsveld 2008, Grace et al. 2013).
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloiampelos gracilis (Haw.) Klopper & Gideon.F.Sm.Least Concern 2014.1
Aloe gracilis Haw.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

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. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

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.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

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 gracilis (Haw.) 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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