Haworthia Revisited – 17. Haworthia maculata

17. Haworthia maculata (V.Poelln.) Bayer :130(1976).  Bayer :43(1982).  H. schuldtiana var. maculata V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov.49:25(1940).  Type: Cape, Worcester, Swellendam etc. H. Venter 6a.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): Worcester, Venter 6 (BOL).

maculata: spotted.

Rosette stemless, proliferous, to 8cm φ.  Leaves many, sub-erect to spreading, purplish-green, spotted, short spines on margins and keel.  Inflorescence simple, slender.  Flowers 15-20, few open, white, yellowish in throat, green veined.

1982 – The original locality for this species was not accurately recorded but it was collected by Major H. Venter, and so it is possible from Smith’s and Long’s records to trace it to the Brandvlei Dam south of Worcester.  H. maculata flowers in October/November and the form of the flower is like that of H. herbacea and H. reticulata, rather than like that of H. magnifica (H. schuldtiana).  There is a clear intergradation with H. herbacea in the area, and the plants are very similar to H. herbacea except that there are fewer and more turgid leaves.  H. maculata also occurs further south in a similar quartzitic rock formation to that at Brandvlei Dam.  A problem is the occurrence of populations apparently of H. maculata in the mountains to the north of Worcester (both high altitude ‑ Audenberg Peak, and low altitude ‑ at Sandhills).  A similar element occurs eastward towards Robertson at Buitenstekloof, distinguished again from H. magnifica by an earlier flowering time and the wide spread of the tips of the upper perianth lobes.

1999 – It is difficult to know just what is present on the higher mountains.  Few succulentophiles are also mountaineers, and besides the plants could be expected to be on rocky north faces which may not attract the conventional high altitude botanist.  H. nortieri bears some resemblance to H. maculata and that species is found as far south as Opdieberg (Ceres).  It is quite probable that populations may occur elsewhere in the area between Worcester and Citrusdal.


a. var. maculata
This variety seems to be linked to H. herbacea with possible ties to H. nortieri.  The similarity to other high mountain forms (eg H. vlokii and H. turgida) cannot be overlooked and this has been repeated at several places in this book.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Brandvlei Dam (‑CB), Bayer 164 (NBG), Smith 3912 (NBG); Bayer in KG669/69 (NBG); NE. Brandvlei Dam (-CB), Bayer 2591 (NBG); Audensberg Peak (-CB), Esterhuysen 16706 (BOL), Bayer 1119 (NBG); Moddergat (-CD), Bayer 1145 (NBG); Keeromsberg, Boskloof (-DA), BOL28719; S. Sandhills (-DA), Bayer 1120 (NBG).

b. var. intermedia (V.Poelln.) Bayer stat.nov. 
H. intermedia V.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 9:133(1937).  V.Poell., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:233(1938).  Type: Cape, Robertson, McGregor, G.J. Payne  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): Epitype (designated here): CAPE-3319 (Worcester): Buitenstekloof (-DC), Bayer 4461 (NBG).

intermedia: between.

In the case of this variety, Payne (priv. comm.) did indicate the actual origin at Buitenstekloof west of Robertson.  Von Poellnitz’ later citation for Scottburgh, Port Elizabeth, as well, is indicative of the close resemblance of even very different species and the difficulties which arise in trying to identify them consistently and correctly.  In his discussion von Poellnitz concluded that while the plants had the long end-awn of H. mucronata, the reticulated patterning of the leaves was that of the H. reticulata group.  The name suggests the difficulty in deciding just what to do with this element.  It co-occurs with H. reticulata and with H. arachnoidea and bears a very close resemblance to the shale form of H. maraisii var. notabilis.  As already noted it has a different flower and flowering time to that variety.  Nevertheless it may be correct to place them together in one species as there is also a population recorded mid-way between the two at Agtervink.  Possibly a more direct link with H. turgida should be sought as the plants do bear a close resemblance to the montane forms of that species.  Certainly it is possible that there may be a connection somewhere in the mountains between Robertson and Swellendam.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Buitenstekloof (-DC), Bayer 4461 (NBG).