The Quiver Tree or ‘kokerboom’ is one of the most interesting and characteristic plants of the very hot and dry parts of Namibia. Actually, it is not a tree but an aloe plant. The botanical name is Aloe Dichotoma. The latter word referring to the forked branches of the plant.

The plant is called a ‘kokerboom’ because some Bushmen and Hottentot tribes used the tough pliable bark and branches to make quivers for their arrows. Koker is the Afrikaans name for quivers.

 

The Quiver tree is stout and can grow up to 9 metres high with a smooth trunk which can be up to 1 meter in diameter at ground level. They usually grow separately and alone but sometimes, they grow together and form the illusion of a forest – this is the Quiver Tree Forest at the Nolte’s farm near Keetmanshoop, Namibia.

The tree propogates only by seeds and they have their first flowers when they are about 20 to 30 years old, with a birght yellow colour and only flower in the winter during June and July.

 

The big trees you see in the pictures here are about 200 to 300 years old.

 

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