Haworthia Revisited – 16. Haworthia lockwoodii

16. Haworthia lockwoodii Archibald, Flower.Pl.Afr. 20:f792(1940).  Bayer :129(1976).  Bayer : 43(1982).  Scott :86(1985).  Type: Cape, near Laingsburg (-BC), S. Lockwood-Hill 215 (GRA).

lockwoodii: after S. Lockwood‑Hill.

Rosette stemless, to 10cm φ, slowly proliferous, withdrawn into soil.  Leaves many, incurved, broad, smooth, usually spineless and dying back at the tips, pale green and translucent above.  Inflorescence simple, robust.  Flowers many, large adpressed to stem and broad across upper surface.

1982 – This species is at its most attractive in the field when the dead, whitened leaf tips are closed in a tight umbrella‑like canopy over the plant.  The plants then resemble dried‑off onions.  They grow usually very well hidden by stones or under bushes.  H. lockwoodii is relatively restricted to the area south of Laingsburg and its affinity lies most probably with H. decipiens.  It differs in that the leaf margins are entirely smooth and in that the leaf tips die back so characteristically.  A relationship with H. habdomadis is frequently suggested but H. lockwoodii always has a thinner and broader leaf.  In cultivation it tends to etiolate and the leaves can be seen to be a clear pale‑green with the leaf tips without veins or chlorophyll.  The Laingsburg area is in the summer rainfall zone but H. lockwoodii should receive very little water and preferably in the winter.

1999 – The alliance of this species is with H. decipiens as tentatively stated above.  At Prince Albert this is confirmed by several populations which are intermediate.  However, southeast of Laingsburg both species apparently interact with H. mucronata.  This is at a farm Rouxpos.  H. lockwoodii and H mucronata co-occur discretely in the Rooinek Pass, but to the south-west at Anysberg, seem to hybridise in an extensive population. This interaction should be seen in the light of the newer discussion concerning species concepts.  These interactions are not in the context of ‘new’ contact, which is a notion the previous handbooks attempted to reject.  In the application of chaos theory to species recognition, it is entirely to be expected that transitional or undifferentiated populations should occur.  The Rouxpos populations seems to show that there is simply a continuum of the major elements such as H. lockwoodii and H. mucronata in the west to H. cooperi and H. cymbiformis in the east.

Distribution: 3320 (Montagu): W. Klein Riet River, Waterford (-BB), Wilmot & Hill 215 (PRE); Laingsburg (-BB), Wilmot in PRE 34946 (PRE); near Laingsburg (-BB), S. Lockwood-Hill 215 (BOL,GRA), Fourcade in Archibald 1459 (NBG), Otzen in Smith 3538 (NBG), Smith 3406 (NBG), Malherbe in NBG653/41; Ezelsfontein (-BB), Bayer 2425 (NBG); Floriskraal (-BB), Bayer 155 (NBG); 16km S. Laingsburg (-BB), Minnaar (BOL).  3321(Ladismith): W. Rouxpos (-AC), Venter 31 (NBG), Venter 86/96 (NBG).

Inadequately located: ex hort Whitehill NBG 68384; James (BOL), Archer (BOL).


Volume 6, Chapter 9:- Interesting nursery plants

I have become increasingly concerned about the poor relations that exist between collectors and the authority of Nature Conservation.  The argument that collectors threaten and despoil natural populations is very real and I do not dispute at all that Conservation authorities have a very valid complaint. They have a function to perform. On the other hand there is an interaction between human beings and nature in all its forms that should be fostered to the benefit of both sides.

Nurseries, traders and collectors are as much of the picture as are conservationists, institutions, researchers and landowners.  It is unfortunate that there is no non-government party that lobbies for the rights and activities of the former group,  but it is not my intention nor within my competence to argue all the aspects of the case.

I strongly believe that people have the right of access to nature in all its forms and the issue is one of individual responsibility and proper consideration of consequences. An appreciation of and sensitivity to nature should be reflected in whatever we do in our lives. My own collecting impulses led me to institutional employment where I could exercise my interest to what I thought were efforts more worthy than my personal interests.  From that position I also did try to share and extend privileges to a wider circle.  It is  in this way that I became involved with Sheilam Nursery.  It was not my wish or intention that my collection should have come to be housed there. However, Sheilam has succeeded over a period of nearly 40 years to maintain a fairly true record of my collections obtained as propagated material from the Karoo Garden at Worcester.  My offer of permitted collections dating from my revision of Haworthia in 1966 to the Karoo Garden was rejected and for a while resided with Etwin Aslander at Brackenfell.  It has since passed to Garth Schwegman at Sheilam who has taken a particular interest in the maintenance and propagation of that collection.

Continue reading