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An Unexpected Addition to Your Landscape

The African quiver tree makes a major statement in the Southwest.

By John Roark | Photography by Carl Schultz

Named for the Southern African San people’s practice of hollowing out its tubular branches to craft vessels for holding arrows, the quiver tree (Aloidendron dichotomum) is a distinctive garden accent identified by a single-trunk and forked branches crowned by rosettes of spiked grayish-green leaves. “This aloe species has a fantastical Dr. Seuss thing going for it that makes it a standout in any landscape,” says nursery owner Aaron Metzger. “It can take the heat and, once established, is virtually maintenance-free.”

In addition to annual profusions of brilliant yellow blossoms, it offers another bonus: Namibian legend has it that the quiver tree brings good luck to whoever cares for it.

TREE FACTS

SIZE: Up to 30’H by 10’W

SOIL: Well-drained

LIGHT: Full sun to partial shade

WATER NEEDS: Low

BLOOMS: Pale to bright yellow; late fall to early winter

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