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Aloe tenuior (or the Fence Aloe) is a bushy, multi-branched climbing aloe from the grasslands and thickets of the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga, South Africa. It is one of the most profusely flowering of all aloes.
A medium-sized, bushy aloe that forms clumps up to 3 m tall, with leaves tufted at the ends of branches. The leaves have a distinctive greyish-green colour and the leaf margins have tiny white teeth. These leaves are a traditional remedy for tapeworm.
An unusually large, woody rootstock usually forms on the ground at the base of the plant.
Like all climbing aloes, flowers are borne on slender racemes and are usually bright yellow (although there are red-flowered forms, sometimes called var. rubriflora).
- A. tenuior var. tenuior
- A. tenuior var. viridifolia van Jaarsv. (the Green-leaf Fence Aloe) restricted to the Suurberg Shale Fynbos, near Addo Elephant Park, north of Port Elizabeth.
Other additional varieties recognized by some sources, include:
- A. tenuior var. glaucescens (the Blue Fence Aloe), type: Kei River, Eastern Cape.
- A. tenuior var. densiflora (the Dense-flowered Fence Aloe), type: Breakfast Vlei, Eastern Cape
- A. tenuior var. rubriflora (the Red-flowered Fence Aloe) of Pondoland, type: Mlengana, Eastern Cape.
- A. tenuior var. decidua (the Deciduous Fence Aloe), type: Alice, Eastern Cape
The latter grouping are treated by WCSP as synonyms of A. tenuior var. tenuior.
Aloe tenuior is part of a group of similar Southern African climbing aloes, called the Macrifoliae Aloes. Also included in this group are its relatives Aloe gracilis (which occurs to the west around Port Elizabeth), Aloe striatula (found to the north on the higher mountain slopes), and Aloe decumbens, Aloe juddii and Aloe commixta which occur only in isolated pockets in the Western Cape fynbos. However, it can be distinguished from its relatives by its thin, greyish, non-recurved leaves.
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- Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2009. Aloe tenuior Haw. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2011.1
- Smith, G.F. & Van Wyk, B.-E. 2008. Aloes in Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1-875093-04-5.
- Search for "Aloe tenuior", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2013-05-25
- Reynolds, G.W. 1950. The Aloes of Southern Africa. Balkema, Cape Town.