Aloiampelos tenuior

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Aloiampelos tenuior
Aloe tenuior var tenuior - South Africa 3.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Aloiampelos
Species: A. tenuior
Binomial name
Aloiampelos tenuior
(Haw.) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm.[1]
Map of South Africa showing highlighted range of six Aloiampelos species, with A. tenior occurring in the east
range in turquoise
  • Aloe tenuior Haw.
  • Aloe tenuior var. glaucescens Zahlbr.
  • Aloe tenuior var. decidua Reynolds
  • Aloe tenuior var. rubriflora Reynolds
  • Aloe tenuior var. densiflora Reynolds
  • Aloe tenuior var. viridifolia van Jaarsv.

Aloiampelos tenuior, formerly Aloe tenuior, the fence aloe, is a bushy, multi-branched succulent plant 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 and their relatives.[2]


Locally, this plant is known as iKhalene in Xhosa, inTelezi in Fengu, and simply the fence aloe in English. The specific epithet tenuior means "very slender", and refers to the plant's stems.[3]

A medium-sized, bushy plant 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 species in the genus, flowers are borne on slender racemes and are usually bright yellow (although there are red-flowered forms, sometimes called var. rubriflora).

Aloiampelos tenuior flowers throughout the year, but especially in winter, and the small flowers appear on thin, un-branched racemes.[4]


Aloiampelos tenuior is an extremely variable species. The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) does not recognize any varieties, treating them all as synonyms of the species.[1] Varieties recognized by some sources include:[5]

  • A. tenuior var. tenuior
  • A. tenuior var. viridifolia (the Green-leaf Fence Aloe) restricted to the Suurberg Shale Fynbos, near Addo Elephant Park, north of Port Elizabeth
  • 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


Aloiampelos tenuior is part of a genus including Aloiampelos gracilis (which occurs to the west around Port Elizabeth), Aloiampelos striatula (found to the north on the higher mountain slopes), and Aloiampelos decumbens, Aloiampelos juddii and Aloiampelos 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.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Aloiampelos tenuior". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  2. ^ Foden, W. & Potter, L. 2009. Aloe tenuior Haw. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2011.1
  3. ^
  4. ^ Smith, G.F. & Van Wyk, B.-E. 2008. Aloes in Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town. ISBN 978-1-875093-04-5.
  5. ^,spno=252
  6. ^ Reynolds, G.W. 1950. The Aloes of Southern Africa. Balkema, Cape Town.