Saturday, December 23, 2006

Harworthia - a Fantastic Succulent

Harworthias are small relatives of the aloes. They are rosette succulents from South Africa. The flowers are small, white, and very similar between species. Haworthias are grown for their patterned leaves - in fact, almost every specimen is a little different. This gives collectors an almost infinite choice of plants. This variability makes the taxonomy of the genus a nightmare, but a conservative estimate places the species at about 50.

Since these plants are small they are predominantly pot plants. Haworthia minima has pointed dark green leaves with white warts, while the window-leaved species such as H. retusa have clear areas in the leaf tops. H. truncata with its two-ranked leaves that appear chopped off is one of the most unusual species.
Haworthias need excellent drainage for their thick roots, but fairly frequent water during their growing season (which varies among species). Bright light is appreciated, but full sun is too bright in most areas.

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