Any ideas about these little gems

I’ve been told they are indigenous and that they are also used as a protection plant of sorts in Zulu culture. That is all I know. Anyone got any more to say?

Who are you little spikey plant?
Who are you little spiky plant?

8 replies on “Any ideas about these little gems”

I think it’s a type of aloe, like a smaller more sinuous version of Aloe aristata.

An Nyanga I know near Rorke’s Drift told me, rather enigmatically, that these spiky little plants are planted in pots around the homestead “to keep away animals that are neither wild nor domestic”.

Which leaves only the category of “supernatural” animals, or amanunu. Lucky you won’t ever find out what danger they pose, protected as you are by your little aloes.

steve – that is really interesting. do you know of other plants which have supernatural as opposed to medicinal uses?

ross – could the donkey tail not compact (kinda ‘bonsai’) itself if it was kept in a small pot?

Thats what I was thinking? They could also still be quite small. I also saw an Aloe juvenna today which looks quite similar, but is covered in spines along the leaf edges.

I’ve heard that cabbage trees (Cussonia) are planted at the entrance to homesteads as a protective measure. Whether that’s from the burglarisors or shapeshifting denizens of the otherworld, I dunno…

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