Aloe dominella

Scientific Name
Aloe dominella Reynolds
Higher Classification
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened B1ab(ii,iii,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Restricted range (EOO 12 400 km²), recorded from 13-15 locations and continuing decline due to severe overgrazing, a threat that is likely to increase in future.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western KwaZulu-Natal, from Mooi River to Bergville and north-eastwards to Vryheid.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Grassland, Savanna
In grassland or thornveld, in hilly or gently undulating areas, often in rocky outcrops but can also occur in open grasslands and along road reserves.
The area where this species is found is mainly used as grazing lands, mostly for cattle but other livestock such as goats are also farmed. There is very little transformation in terms of crops and development (16% transformation, calculated using GIS). However, in some areas, especially communally owned land, such as between Bergville and Colenso and around Rorke's Drift, heavy overgrazing appears to be impacting on subpopulations of A. dominella (Craib 2005). In the Bergville district subpopulations are very small and restricted to sites among large boulders where they are protected from grazing and trampling, but is not found in other areas of suitable habitat at the edges of large rocky sheets or in open rocky grasslands (Craib 2005). Around Rorke's drift and Estcourt A. dominella is quite frequent in road reserves where rangelands are fenced, and appear to have declined within the grazing areas (Craib 2005). The Estcourt area is extensively under land claims, which will bring about large changes in the management regimes of rangelands when land is handed over to communities. As the land will be required to sustain much larger groups of people than before, the pressures, especially in the number of livestock kept on the land, is likely to increase significantly. A. dominella is dependent on fires to flower, but since grassland fires are also used to manage grazing quality, it is unlikely that fire exclusion is a threat. Craib's observations found some subpopulations to be lacking juveniles and seedlings. This may be either due to the poor seed set or to too frequent annual fires preventing the establishment of young seedlings (Craib 2005). Invasion by exotic black wattle, especially in the Estcourt district, is potentially threatening the habitat of some subpopulations of A. dominella (Craib 2005).
Population trend
Scott-Shaw (1999) and Van Wyk and Smith (1996) consider this species not threatened.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Aloe dominella ReynoldsNT B1ab(ii,iii,v)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Aloe dominella ReynoldsLower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)
Aloe dominella ReynoldsNot Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)

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

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.

von Staden, L. 2007. Aloe dominella Reynolds. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/12/14

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Distribution map

© P. Nel

© P. Nel

© P. Nel

© D.R. McKenzie

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