Aloe chortolirioides var. chortolirioides

Scientific Name
Aloe chortolirioides A.Berger var. chortolirioides
Higher Classification
Aloe boastii Letty, Aloe chortolirioides A.Berger var. boastii (Letty) Reynolds
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable A2c
Assessment Date
M. Lötter, J.E. Burrows & D. Raimondo
At least a 30% habitat loss in the last three generations (100 years) to commercial forestry plantations. Remaining subpopulations are still declining due to the effects of isolation and fragmentation by forestry plantations, which results in a deleterious fire regime, loss of pollinators and a lack of recruitment.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
Mbabane, Barberton to Carolina.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Barberton Montane Grassland, Lydenburg Montane Grassland
Mistbelt grassland, wedged between rocks on slopes and mountaintops.
The habitat of this species has declined substantially in the past 100 years (three generations) due to transformation to forestry plantations as well as degradation by alien invasive species throughout its habitat. Although little further transformation is taking place, the remaining habitat between plantations is extremely vulnerable to the spread of alien invasive species from around the plantations, and habitat in the area between Piggs Peak (Swaziland) and the border is severely degraded by alien invasions (J. Burrows, pers. comm.). Using GIS (NLC 1996) it was calculated that 28.5 % of the range (EOO) of this species is transformed or degraded. Considering that the map is quite old and generally underestimates degraded areas affected by invasive alien species, it can safely be assumed that >30% of the range is transformed, but not more than 50%. The species is also threatened by poor fire management - flowering is stimulated by fire - but in many areas fires are excluded from the grasslands through management practises aimed at preventing fire threats to forestry plantations (J. Burrows and M. Lötter, pers. comm.). In other places, such as firebreaks in plantations, sub-populations are burnt too frequently (burnt annually) which does not allow young seedlings to establish - fires kill very small seedlings, resulting in these sub-populations consisting almost entirely of old, adult plants (Craib 2005). Loss of pollinators in small isolated habitat fragments between pine plantations has been observed and linked to poor seed set (Craib 2005).

Although there are very few herbarium records of this species, J. Burrows believes there must be more than 10 subpopulations as in spite of past habitat transformation there is still some intact habitat in the poorly explored mountains between Barberton and Swaziland. J. Burrows has seen the species only once, in the Saddleback Mountains, and there were only a few plants. M. Lötter, on the other hand has seen subpopulations of hundreds of plants between commercial forestry plantations around Barberton.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloe chortolirioides A.Berger var. chortolirioides VU A2cRaimondo et al. (2009)
Aloe chortolirioides A.Berger var. chortolirioides Not Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)

Craib, C. 2005. Grass Aloes in the South African Veld. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Glen, H.F. and Hardy, D.S. 1987. Nomenclatural notes on three southern African representatives of the genus Aloe. South African Journal of Botany 53(6):489-492.

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.

Van Wyk, B.-E. and Smith, G. 2003. Guide to aloes of South Africa. (2nd ed.). Briza Publications, Pretoria.

Lötter, M., Burrows, J.E. & Raimondo, D. 2006. Aloe chortolirioides A.Berger var. chortolirioides. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/05/26

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Distribution map

© M. Lötter

© M. Lötter

© M. Lötter

© J.E. Burrows

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