Haworthia Revisited – 59. Haworthia marginata

59. Haworthia marginata (Lam.) Stearn, Cact.J 12:34(1938).  Bayer :133(1976).  Bayer :80(1982).  Scott :11(1985).  Aloe marginata Lam., Encycl. 1:89(1783).  Aloe albicans Haw., Trans.Linn.Soc. 7:8(1804).  Salm Dyck, Monogr. 5:t.1(1854).  H. albicans Haw., Syn.Pl.Succ. :91(1812).  Type (B&M): icon, 80:t30, Commelin, Prael.Bot.(1703):  H. laevis Haw., Revis. :52(1821).  H. marginata var. laevis (Haw.) Jacobson, Handb.Succ.Pl. 2:567(1960).  Type: Cape, ex hort Kew.  Not preserved:  H. virescens Haw. Revis. :52(1821).  H. albicans var. virescens (Haw.) Baker, Fl.Cap. 6:343(1896).  H. marginata var. virescens (Haw.) Uitew., Succ. 21:40(1939).  Type: Cape, ex hort Kew.  Not preserved:  H. ramifera Haw. loc.cit.  H. marginata var. ramifera (Haw.) Jacobson, Handb.Succ.Pl. 2:567(1960).  Type: Cape.  Not preserved.

marginata: margined.

Rosette stemless, slowly proliferous, to 200mm tall.  Leaves to 180 X 20mm,  attenuate, spreading, lanceolate-deltoid, surfaces smooth without tubercles, colour pale brownish-green.  Inflorescence sparsely branched, lax.  Flowers tepals fused, tube straight, lobes abbreviated, veins pinkish.

1982 – This is the grandest and most elegant of all the species.  It is the largest after H. pumila and despite being characteristically completely glabrous, is also most closely related to that species.  They both occur together at Ashton and intermediates also occur.  At Drew and Bonnievale the populations tend to be aberrant as if hybridisation has occurred.  H. marginata was previously recorded from as far east as Riversdale and southwards to Napier.  However, it has been both severely overcollected and destroyed by agricultural development.  The result is that it is now very seldom seen in the field and must be regarded as a threatened species.  Its habitats are mostly Coastal Renosterbos but it may be found either on shales, where the plants can be very small and deeply buried, or on sandstone or Witteberg gravels standing openly on the soil surface.  The colour in the field is a very attractive glaucous silvery ‘avocado’ green.  In cultivation the plant easily becomes too green and chlorotic.  Like all five species in the Robustipedunculares it is strictly winter growing, and difficult at that.

1999 – This species seems to hybridise quite freely with both H. margaritifera and with H. minima.  Hybrids with the latter produce the similar lighter green coloration that characterises H. kingiana.  D. Cumming reports a very small form from north of Bredasdorp, where relatively normal plants (cited below) have also been observed .

Distribution: 3320(Montagu): NE. Ashton (-CC), Bayer (NBG); Drew (-CC), Fouche in PRE 39445; Bonnievale (-CC), J. Smith 13794 (PRE).  3420(Bredasdorp): Adoonskop (-AC), Bayer (NBG); Wydgelee (-AD), Barker 5341 (NBG); Koppies (-BA), Bayer 4901 (NBG); S. Heidelberg (-BB), Smith 7134 (NBG). 3421(Riversdale): (‑AB), Bayer 174 (NBG), Dekenah 4a, 5 (PRE), Fourcade 145 (NBG), Smith 5386 (NBG); Riversdale (-AB), Muir in PRE 39446.

Inadequately located: Ex hort Smith 7339 (NBG); Great Brak, Cook in NBG145/31 (BOL); Riversdale, Malherbe in NBG295/40, Ferguson (BOL), Pillans 175 (BOL), Esterhuysen (BOL); Bredasdorp, Brand in NBG 866/29 (BOL).