Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Quiver Tree
Aloe pillansii

Family: Aloaceae
Genus: Aloe (AL-oh) (Info)
Species: pillansii (pil-AN-see-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Aloe dichotoma subsp. pillansii

23 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral CactusJordi On Aug 19, 2008, CactusJordi from El Cajon, CA wrote:

In (almost) inland SoCal the 4 nights in January '07 of down to 24F did some serious damage to the leaves. But the plants recovered fast.


Positive albleroy On Sep 9, 2004, albleroy from Wavre/ greenhous +/- 2500 species, IA wrote:

Aloe Pillansii occurs from Cornell's Kop in the Richtersveld northwards to the Brandberg in Namibia. This range has an altitude of 250 upto 1000 Meter. The plant is regarded as endangered due to mining and illegal collecting. It is a plant easily grown from seed. Plants grow reasonably good in cultivation in winter raifall regions, provided that they are protected from frost.

Positive palmbob On Jan 6, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the holy grail of tree aloes and is one of the most beautiful aloes over all. It has neat, small, wide arched, fat leaves of silvery-grey ribbed with pale yellow spines all along the edges. The trunk is smooth and fat, similar to A dichotoma, and can get quite tall- the tallest of all the Aloes potentially growing up to 45'. However, this is also one of the rarest aloes now, having been so overcollected from its native Africa that it's nearly extinct. Finding a specimen is exciting, as I did recently in a nursery in Pasadena (of course it wasn't for sale, and if it had, I wouldn't have been able to afford it- even the seed of this aloe is costly).

Appears to be a winter grower... excess summer water can rot these, but some water does result in a slight bit of growth in the warmer months... but plant definitely grows faster in the cool season, at least in southern CAlifornia.

Freeze in Los Angeles Jan 07 at 27F for 5 hours did damage the leaf tips of my 3' tall seedling. It looks like the plant will be fine, though... just will look pretty sad for a few years.

2011 Kew Gardens has just come out with an all-inclusive plant names list, and this plant has been demoted to a subspecies of Aloe dichotoma... sad.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler Heights, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Bostonia, California
Glen Avon, California
Reseda, California
Spring Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Vista, California

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