Haworthia Revisited – 43. Haworthia bruynsii

43. Haworthia bruynsii Bayer, JS.Afr.Bot 47:789(1981).  Bayer :64(1982).  Scott :135(1985).  Type: CAPE‑3324 (Steytlerville): SE. Steytlerville (‑AD), G.J. Rossouw 456 (NBG).

bruynsii: for P.V. Bruyns.

Rosette stemless, solitary, to 6cm φ.  Leaves 5-11, with flattened, retused end-area, opaque and slightly scabrid with small raised tubercles above.  Inflorescence simple, slender, florets sparse.  Flowers slender, tepals fused and with revolute tips.

1982 – H. bruynsii is the most remarkable discovery since H. truncata in 1910.  The general appearance of the plants and their locality immediately suggest H. springbokvlakensis.  However, the surface of the leaf-end areas is more scabrid and often more acutely margined as in some forms of H. emelyae.  The surprise comes in the inflorescence as the peduncle is long and wiry and the florets are singularly characteristic of the subgenus Hexangulares, i.e. six‑sided at the base, exposed mid‑ribs of inner perianth lobes, straight style and florets slowly spiralled on the peduncle.  Had only one plant been seen it may have been considered a hybrid of some kind.  However, H. bruynsii occurs at two distinct localities as is so far known, and there is no evidence of hybridisation.  The plants have only 5‑11 leaves when full grown, and they are sunken in the ground under small bushes in the same way as H. springbokvlakensis and also occurring with Lithops localis as in this species.

1999 – This species is now well-known southeast of Steytlerville and speculation about its relationships continues.  J.D. Venter has suggested that the affinity is with H. sordida.  This is plausible as that species does show signs of abbreviated leaves and the tendency towards a truncated end-area, in collections east of H. bruynsii localities.  H. sordida does, however, also occur in its normal large and erect form nearby at Springbokvlakte and also at Kleinpoort a little to the north.  The comparison with H. emelyae above should now read H. bayeri.

Distribution: 3324 (Steytlerville): SE. Steytlerville(‑AD), G.J. Rossouw 456 (NBG).