Harold Porter NBG: Kumara disticha (Aloe plicatilis)
Aloe plicatilis has had a name change and is now called Kumara disticha in line with new evidence on the species and according to botanical nomenclatural rules.
Kumara disticha is a fascinating aloe, one of a few aloes which is endemic to the fynbos of the southwestern Cape. The common names, fan aloe in English, or waaieralwyn or boekalwyn in Afrikaans, are apt descriptions of the arrangement of the leaves.
These plants have a limited distribution on the mountains above Franschhoek in the south and as far as Tulbagh in the north. Good drainage ensures that this magnificent plant can cope with the high winter rainfall it receives. However here in the Garden the water table is subject to changes and currently the area where this magnificent plant is growing is damper than usual causing a partial collapse of the plant.
This "aloe" is classed as a tree and its national tree number is 29.6. The three huge plants seen here were planted by the founder of the Garden, Harold Porter, himself. Sadly, they are slowly collapsing as the area has become very damp.