Fan Aloe

Scientific Name
Kumara plicatilis (L.) G.D.Rowley
Higher Classification
Aloe disticha L. var. plicatilis L., Aloe flabelliformis Salisb., Aloe lingua Thunb., Aloe linguaeformis L.f., Aloe plicatilis (L.) Mill., Aloe plicatilis (L.) Mill. var. major Salm-Dyck, Aloe tripetala Medik., Kumara disticha in sense of Medik. (superfluous name), Kumara plicatilis (L.) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm. (later isonym), Rhipidodendron distichum (Medik.) Willd., Rhipidodendron plicatile (L.) Haw.
Common Names
Bergaalwee (a), Bergaalwyn (a), Fan Aloe (e), Franschhoekaalwee (a), Franschhoek-aalwyn (a), French Hoek Aloe (e), Waaier-aalwyn (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & N.A. Helme
A range restricted species endemic to the Western Cape, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1805 km². It is not rare - there are more than 10 known subpopulations and they can be fairly large, consisting of up to 500 mature individuals. Although there are alien invasive species present at some known sites, these are not causing a serious threat at present. Monitoring is required to both track the expansion of the invasive vegetation as well as for the detection of declines in the population. It is listed as Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa, where it is restricted to the mountains north of Tulbagh southwards to the mountains southeast of Franschhoek.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
It occurs on very steep and rocky sandstone outcrops that are protected from fire. Altitude 150 - 650 m.
Although K. plicatilis occurs on lower slopes of mountains in the Western Cape, its highly specific habitat requirements - extremely rocky sites that are protected from fire - has provided it some protection against agriculture and forestry plantations that often extend around sites where this species occurs. Invasive alien species, both due to escaping pine seedlings and other local invasives such as Australian acacias are present within the habitat, but these are either at too low densities to be causing any past or present threat or are otherwise actively managed (N. Helme pers. comm.) This species would, however, benefit from monitoring and a survey of the population as it could possibly qualify under the C criterion if any declines could be detected.

Subpopulations consist of 50-500 mature individuals. The total population is possibly less than 10 000 mature individuals, but not less than 1000. A thorough survey of the population, including revisiting of historically known sites is necessary to arrive at a better estimate of the population size at present and likely past declines.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Kumara plicatilis (L.) G.D.RowleyLeast Concern 2015.1
Kumara disticha Medik.Least Concern 2014.1
Aloe plicatilis (L.) Mill.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.

Klopper, R.R., Smith, G.F. and Van Wyk, A.E. 2013. The correct name of Aloe plicatilis in Kumara (Xanthorrhoeaceae: Asphodeloideae). Phytotaxa 115(2):59-60.

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.

Rouget, M., Reyers, B., Jonas, Z., Desmet, P., Driver, A., Maze, K., Egoh, B. and Cowling, R.M. 2004. South African National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment 2004: Technical Report. Volume 1: Terrestrial component. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Scott, C.L. 1985. The genus Haworthia, a taxonomic revision. Aloe Books, Johannesburg.

von Staden, L. & Helme, N.A. 2018. Kumara plicatilis (L.) G.D.Rowley. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/07/22

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Distribution map

© N.A. Helme

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