Aloe prinslooi

Scientific Name
Aloe prinslooi I.Verd. & D.S.Hardy
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened A2e
Assessment Date
J.E. Victor & E. van Wyk
We suspect that a 20% decline took place during a period of intense illegal harvesting in the 1960s. The generation length of this species is estimated to be 20 years. Although no longer declining due to illegal harvesting, this species remains potentially threatened by livestock trampling and frequent fire.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Tugela River basin between Ladismith and Muden.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Savanna, in dry, tall grassland and open woodland, and transition communities between savanna woodland and valley bushveld thicket, 800-1400 m.
Illegal removal of plants from the wild by succulent collectors have caused the total decimation of subpopulations at known sites along the main road between Ladismith and Muden. Reynolds (1969) already reported a significant decline in these sites since the publication of the species in 1965 (Verdoorn and Hardy 1965). Although succulent collecting is still popular, A. prinslooi is available in cultivation and the threat of wild collecting is not as severe as in the past (Scott-Shaw 1999). Succulent collecting is also likely to have only impacted on accessible sites near towns and roadsides, which may represent only a small proportion of the total population. A. prinslooi occurs in high-lying grasslands, known as KwaZulu-Natal Highland Thornveld (Mucina and Rutherford 2006), with sparse occurrence of thorny Acacias. It also occur in transitional areas between these grasslands and more densely wooded valley bushveld (Scott-Shaw 1999) known as Thukela Valley Bushveld (Mucina and Rutherford 2006). Thukela Valley Bushveld is extensively degraded due to overgrazing and large areas are affected by severe erosion and complete destruction of the grass cover. Disturbed areas are also heavily invaded by alien invasive species such as Opuntia imbricata (prickly pear) as well as encroaching unpalatable native species such as Blepharis natalensis and Euphorbia pseudocactus (Mucina and Rutherford 2006). KwaZulu-Natal Highland Thornveld on the other hand is not as seriously threatened, with about 16% transformed to cultivation and urban areas (Mucina and Rutherford 2006). Urban spread, specifically of informal settlements, is an ongoing threat especially around Colenso and Weenen (E. van Wyk, D. Styles pers. comm.). Bush encroachment under altered fire regimes as well as alien encroachment (Opuntia and Acacia) is another ongoing threat, especially in disturbed areas (Mucina and Rutherford 2006).
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloe prinslooi I.Verd. & D.S.HardyNT A2eRaimondo et al. (2009)
Aloe prinslooi I.Verd. & D.S.HardyVU A1cdVictor (2002)
Aloe prinslooi I.Verd. & D.S.HardyLower Risk - Near Threatened Scott-Shaw (1999)
Aloe prinslooi I.Verd. & D.S.HardyRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Aloe prinslooi I.Verd. & D.S.HardyUncertain Hall et al. (1980)

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical 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.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

Van Wyk, B.-E. and Smith, G. 1996. Guide to the aloes of South Africa. 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.

Victor, J.E. & van Wyk, E. 2005. Aloe prinslooi I.Verd. & D.S.Hardy. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/12/19

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Distribution map

© P. Joffe

© H. Mtshali

© H. Mtshali

© N.R. Crouch

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