Scientific Name
Aloe myriacantha (Haw.) Schult. & J.H.Schult.
Higher Classification
Bowiea myriacantha Haw., Leptaloe johnstonii Christian, Leptaloe myriacantha (Haw.) Stapf
Common Names
Umakhuphulwane (z)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
W. Foden & L. Potter
Widespread in South Africa and as it is easily overlooked, it is probably much more common than collection records indicate. Although some subpopulations in the Eastern Cape are threatened, this species is not suspected to be in danger of extinction.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga
In South Africa formerly known only from the Eastern Cape between Grahamstown and the Kei River mouth and the Maputaland area in far northern KwaZulu-Natal (Reynolds 1969). However, this rather inconspicuous grass aloe may have been overlooked, as more recent collections in the Mkambati Nature Reserve (Glen and Hardy 2000), the Maclear district (Bester, S.P. 458, 19-3-1993, NH) and Little Noodsberg (Hilliard, O.M. and Burtt, B.L. 15485 12-2-1982, PRE) indicate that the distribution is probably continuous along the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal coast between Kei Mouth and Richards Bay, and that it also occurs much further inland to the foothills of the Drakensberg. A. myriacantha is also widespread northwards into Africa as far as Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda and after A. buettneri the most widespread of all Aloe species, with a north-south range of over 5000 km² (Glen and Hardy 2000).
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Grassland, Indian Ocean Coastal Belt, Savanna
Grows among rocks in short grassland, occurs from near sea level up to 1600 m.
Subpopulations in the Grahamstown area are threatened by alien invasive encroachment, and like most grass aloe species, A. myriacantha is also probably sensitive to overgrazing (Craib 2005). However, more collections indicate that it is much more widespread and probably much more common in South Africa than previously thought, and that it was merely overlooked in the past. Van Wyk and Smith (1996) and Scott-Shaw (1999) did not list A. myriacantha as threatened.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloe myriacantha (Haw.) Schult. & J.H.Schult.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

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.

Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2009. Aloe myriacantha (Haw.) Schult. & J.H.Schult. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/05/26

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Distribution map

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