There is not much to write about this less glamorous of plants. It is one of the Robustipedunculares. It is very widely distributed and even occurs north of the Langeberg Mountains in the Little Karoo – as does its sister species H. pumila. The pictures cover a huge range of variants from DeMond in the southwestern area to Riversdale. I found them all fascinating. Mostly so perhaps the very few large globose plants we saw at Kleinberg near Malgas (Diepkloof). But the plants at Koppies are really interesting because they were overlooked for so long. Koppies is the second known home of H. serrata (now H. rossouwii) and we came to know it also as a refuge for a small population of H. marginata. It was while we were investigating this that Hennie van Deventer casually pointed to plants of H. attenuata var caespitosa in his garden and said they were also on the farm. Because of our surprise and of course doubt, he took us to show the plants that he said he had not looked at nor thought of for 20 years – and there they were. A very small population of large dark coloured plants.
Also interesting were the very small solitary plants on the farm Sandfontein in the Slang River Valley. At Klipheuwel marginal to the coastal calcretes we also came across the species. Initially we saw only two plants while searching for ‘retusa-like’ plants. Failing to find anything else in a very severly grazed field we thought we would return to commiserate with the few H. minima we saw and enjoy the ambience we always feel in the presence of Haworthia. One can barely explain how cryptic these plants are and how easily they avoid detection. We found another 40 plants in the same area abut 10m diameter where we had found but two a short while earlier.
I found it very curious that in our very extensive exploration of the area east of Riversdale, that we saw neither H. minima nor H. marginata. Gasteria was also conspicuous by its absence and I remark on this because I do not think that taxonomy can remotely afford to ignore fundamental patterns in the general environment.
MBB7737 H. minima, Koppies.
MBB7747 H. minima, Sandfontein.
MBB7757 H. minima, Klipheuwel.
MBBsn H. minima, Bontebok National Park.
MBBsn H. minima, Stoffelsrivier.