Haworthia Revisited – Landscape and habitat

Even living in South Africa and frequently moving about in the countryside, it is very difficult to appreciate the magnitude of the task of trying to understand Haworthia. The scale and the extent of the problem is only appreciated after many many footsore  miles. The terrain where  the plants grow is invariably rocky and steep, the rocks and soil loose underfoot and access often denied by fences and gen­eral inaccessibility. A false sense of understanding is given by those populations which can be seen from the window of a car – and despite the small size of the plants, there are many populations which are that easy to find.

However, the problem is in trying to establish similarities and differences between different populations – in trying to find something which might not be there. Populations can be so small and restricted, or the plants so cryptic, that it can often only be claimed of an area that no plants were found. And not that nothing is present there.

The following pictures are to give some indication of what the countryside is like where these intriguing plants grow and to indicate that there is still a lifetime of exploration which can be done. Hopefully this will be done by some­ one who has a sense of the natural order of things and an appreciation and respect for the desirability of leaving things that way.