Haworthia Revisited – Table of Contents

Haworthia Revisited – Introduction

Haworthia Revisited
Introduction to The Haworthia Handbook – 1979 Version
Introduction to The new Haworthia Handbook – 1982 Version
Introduction to Haworthia Revisited – 1999 Version
Historical Sketch
Collectors and Contributors
Cultivation, Propagation and Plant Health
Contribution by S.A.Hammer
The Genus and Species Concept
Synopsis of Taxonomic Changes
Key to the Subgenera

Haworthia Revisited. A revision of the Genus. (out of print)
Umdaus Press, Hatfield, South Africa, 1999

Well established, color-illustrated revision of the species. Hard cover. 250 pages 21 x 26 cm.


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Haworthia Revisited – 1. Haworthia angustifolia

1. Haworthia angustifolia Haw., Phil.Mag. 46:283(1825), Baker, JLinn.Soc. 18:210(1880).  Non Jacobsen 2:536(1954).  Bayer :97(1976).  Bayer :26(1982):  Bayer, Nat.Cact.Succ.J 37:31(1981).  Scott :54(1985).  Type: Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): icon, 13:f2, Salm-Dyck, Monogr.  Epitype: CAPE-3326 (Grahamstown), Highlands (-AD), Cooke in NBG68977, non B&M Bruyns 1653 (NBG):  Aloe stenophylla Roem. et Schult. Syst.Veg. 7:641(1829).  Salm-Dyck, Monogr. 13.t2(1849).  Type: As for H. angustifolia:  H. angustifolia var. grandis Smith JS.Afr.Bot. 9:105(1943).  Type: Cape, Albany Div, Smith 5216 (PRE):  H. albanensis Shonl., Rec.Albany Mus. 2:256(1912).  H. angustifolia var. albanensis (Shonl.) V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:194(1937).  Type: Cape, Grahamstown, Britten s.n. sub Triebner 835 (not preserved).

angustifolia: narrow leaved.

Rosette to 40mm φ, proliferous, stemless.  Leaves 10-40, slender, erect to 100 X 10mm, lanceolate‑acuminate, sub-flaccid, brownish to dark green, margins and keel finely denticulate.  Inflorescence to 200mm, lax.  Flowers 8‑10, white to dull pinkish‑white.

1982 – The introduction of this species to Kew in 1824 is attributed to Bowie.  It is a small clump-forming species with long narrow leaves, which has frequently been confused with H. chloracantha.  However, it is a softer species and the marginal teeth are smaller and more closely spaced.  The range of variation in both species is fairly similar.  Smith’s var. paucifolia was based on a miniature form from Coombes, east of Grahamstown.  Here the plants are miniaturised and growing within clumps of Restio among proteas.  Across the valley, in grassveld, the plants are much more robust and this is the origin of var. grandis.  Small forms are also found in grassveld along the edges of the lower Fish River Valley where only the short leaf-tips are visible above the soil in exposed rock cracks and crevices, sometimes shaded by grass.  The Fish River seems to be the eastern limit and from there H. angustifolia extends westwards to the Zuurberg mountains.  At Riebeeck East the leaves are particularly slender and this is probably the most attractive form to grow.

H. baylissii was described from the farm Oudekraal not far from the Zuurberg Pass.  It was first described as having broad, highly recurved leaves but plants collected by Bayliss at the same time and place, and grown at Kirstenbosch, were typical of normal H. angustifolia.  Plants from the type collection also do not retain their character in cultivation although the leaves remain very deltoid and spreading.  This prompted the idea that H. baylissii was only an odd form or hybrid of H. angustifolia.  A visit to the type locality in 1979 confirmed this view (of form) as vast numbers of H. angustifolia were found growing on a rocky sandstone knoll overgrown with fynbos species (Protea spp., Restio spp.).  This knoll was above a steep sided valley with the rocky faces clothed with succulents.  H. glauca and H. cooperi were both present and seen in the immediate area.  H. angustifolia must be considered to be a species of the False Macchia associated with acid quartzitic soils and in a moderate rainfall area.  The False Macchia peters out west of the Zuurberg and occurs in small isolated patches in the Klein Winterhoek Mountains and Groot River Heights, apart from the main body further to the southwest.  These areas have not been fully explored and it is possible that a relationship may extend between H. angustifolia, H. zantneriana and even H. divergens.  H. angustifolia has been known to hybridise with H. cymbiformis at Howiesonspoort near Grahamstown, and the hybrid was described as H. perplexa V.Poelln.

H. angustifolia is easy to grow and the ease with which some forms proliferate may be an embarrassment.  Under shaded conditions the leaves may also spread too much and lose the very dark colour that well-grown plants should have.

1999 – Scott selected a specimen to represent his concept of the species without specifically designating it as the type. The illustration in Salm-Dyck is available as the oldest and most generally used reference for the name, despite Fourcade’s discounting Baker’s description of H. angustifolia (see under H. monticola).  The type selected by Breuer and Metzing is the specimen cited as representative for the species.  It is an unfortunate choice because it represents a variation and is not typical of the species.

There have been no new collections to suggest any changes to the concept of this species.  G. Marx has commented on the leaf length changing with favourable growing conditions and Cumming also correctly states that the var. paucifolia loses its distinctiveness in cultivation.  Despite this it has been decided to recognise the following varieties:-


a.  var. angustifolia
This is most commonly found in the environs of Grahamstown and has been collected as far west as the Zuurberg (NE. Kirkwood) where it occurs together and appears to intergrade with the var baylissii.  It is not known east of the Fish River nor further north than Riebeek East.  Scott refers to records from the south-western districts but these are unquestionably mis-identifications of either H. chloracantha or H. divergens.  The latter both to a degree have markings on the leaves and in neither do the leaf-tips incline inwards as they do in H. angustifolia.

Distribution: 3325 (Port Elizabeth): Uyepoort, Zuurberg (-AD), C.H.F. Woolley (NBG); Somerset East to Zuurberg (-BB), Holland in NBG18/25 (BOL); Kommadagga Stn. (-BB), Stayner in KG688/71 (NBG); Annsvilla to Uitenhage (-BD), Smith 2540 (NBG).  3326 (Grahamstown): Albany(-AB), Britten in PRE 34949; Alicedale (-AC), Stayner in KG251/70 (NBG); Wireless Stn. (-AD), Highlands (-AD), Smith 7270, 7449 (NBG), Cooke in NBG68977; Fort Collingwood (-AD), Smith 639 (NBG); Howiesonspoort (-AD), Smith 911, 7440 (NBG); Timm (NBG); Grahamstown (-BC), Breijer in TRV 23226 (PRE); Mt. Drive (-BC), Dyer 2280 (PRE); Mt. Drive (-BC), Smith 5630 (NBG), Barnes (BOL), Dyer 5; Hospital Hill (-BC) Smith 5656 (NBG); Near Coombes (-BD), Smith 5216 (NBG, PRE); Trappes Valley (-BD), Britten (BOL); Bathurst (-BD), NBG 68060; Lincoln Siding (-DA), Smith 3839 (NBG).  3227(Kingwilliamstown): Paradisekloof, Britten 5676 (NBG);

Inadequately located: Grahamstown, Whitworth in NBG 901/23 (BOL); Bolus (BOL), van der Merwe 115 (BOL).

b. var. altissima Bayer var.novType: CAPE-3326(Grahamstown): Riebeek East to Carlisle Bridge (-AA), Smith 5220 (NBG, Holo.).

altissima: tallest

Rosette proliferous.  Leaves slender, erect to 150 X 10mm.  Finely denticulate along the margins and keel.  Leaf colour tending to greyish green rather than darker green. (A var. angunstifolia foliis griseo-viridibus erectioribus gracilibusque differt).

The var. altissima is created to accomodate a more distinctive taller element with more upright slender leaves than the var. grandis of Smith.  The leaves in that variety are not particularly long for the species and neither this nor the distribution are as significant as may have been originally thought.

Distribution: 3326 (Grahamstown): Riebeek East to Carlisle Bridge (-AA), Smith 5220 (NBG); Sidbury (-AC), Smith 7450 (NBG); 32km Grahamstown to Alicedale (-AD), Bruyns 1653 (NBG).

c. var. baylissii (Scott) Bayer comb.nov.  H. baylissii Scott, JS.Afr.Bot. 34:1(1968).  Bayer :102(1976).  Bayer, Nat.Cact.Succ.J 37:31(1981).  Scott :101(1985).  H. angustifolia fa baylissii (Scott) Bayer :26(1982):  Type:- CAPE-3325 (Port Elizabeth): Oudekraal, Zuurberg (-BC), Bayliss in Scott 796 (PRE).

baylissii: for Col R.D.A. Bayliss.

P.V. Bruyns collected at the Oudekraal locality in 1993 and found again the forma baylissii, while independently Ernst van Jaarsveld recorded plants similar to the ordinary var. angustifolia from the same locality.  The account in the New Handbook states that the Bayliss type collection represented at Kirstenbosch was atypical of the form described in that the leaves were not recurved.  My own collection from Oudekraal was also not at all typical for Scott’s species as the leaves of the plants were not at all recurved and only slightly broader that in plants of the Grahamstown area.  Neither this collection nor van Jaarsveld’s included any really broad leaved plants (nor with recurving leaves) which resembled true baylissii.  Bruyns’ collection was made some 2-3km lower down the river valley where the plants were growing on rather sheltered rock ledges.  The leaves of the plants were broader than either my or van Jaarsveld’s collections.  The contention is that Scott’s species has neither the distribution, variability nor co-occurrence (other than with H. glauca and H. cooperi var. pilifera), to justify that status.  Varietal status is propose because of the Bruyns re-collection.  The concept is broadened somewhat to include plants with both narrower and non-recurved leaves.

Distribution: 3325 (Port Elizabeth): Zuurberg, Oudekraal (-BC), Bayliss in Scott 796 (PRE); Oudekraal (-BC), Scott in KG 416/70 (NBG); Oudekraal (-BC), Bayer 2052 (NBG).

d. var. paucifolia Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 14:48(1948).  Type:- CAPE-3326 (Grahamstown): Frazers Camp (-BD), Smith 6819 (NBG).

paucifolia: with few leaves.

This variety is fairly abundant along the lower Fish River around the old Chalumna Police Station.  This is a different grassland habitat to that at Frazers Camp where it was first recorded in Fynbos.  This variety is not proliferous and the leaves flex outward.  It is very small, with few leaves,  seldom exceeds a height of about 7cm and the body of the plant is usually well drawn into the soil.  These differences are not maintained in cultivation.

Distribution: 3326 (Grahamstown): Frazers Camp (-BD), Smith 6819 (NBG); Frazers Camp (-BD), Compton 19092 (NBG).  3327 (Kingwilliamstown): Kaffirdrift, Leach & Bayliss 12636 (PRE); Kaffirdrift (-AC), Bayliss 2592 (NBG).

[ed.] Also see Natural Variation and Species Delimitation in Haworthia Duval. – Part 5. HAWORTHIA ANGUSTIFOLIA Haworth. (1981)

Haworthia Revisited – 2. Haworthia arachnoidea

2. Haworthia arachnoidea (L.) Duval, Pl.Succ.Hort.Alenc. :7(1809).  Haw., Syn.Pl.Succ. :96(1812).  nec Pole Evans, Flow.Pl.S.Afr. 7:t.248(1927).  Bayer :97(1976).  Bayer :27(1982).  nec Scott, Cact.Succ.J(U.S.) 49:205(1977).  nec Scott, Aloe l6:41(1978).  nec Scott :66(1985):  Aloe pumila var. arachnoidea L., Sp.Pl. 1:322(1753):  Aloe arachnoides Thunb., Diss. :311(1785).  D.C., Pl.Gr. :f.50(1799).  Ker-G., Bot.Mag. :t756(1802).  Haw., Trans.Linn.Soc. 7:10(1804).  S.D., Monogr. 12:t.2(1840).  Lectotype: icones :78,t27, Comm., Prael.Bot. :78(1703).  Epitype (B&M): CAPE-3319 (Worcester) Buitenstekloof (-DB), Bayer 153 (NBG).  H. arachnoidea var. minor Haw., Suppl.Pl.Succ. :52(1819).  Type: Not preserved.

arachnoidea: spider-like.

Rosette stemless, variable in size from 60 to exceptionally 120 mm φ,  solitary or forming small clusters.  Leaves 25-80 dense incurving, uniformly light to dark-green, no translucence and only occasionally faintly reticulate, flattened and often drying grey‑white to brownish at the tips forming a protective cover for the leaves.  Triangular‑ to ovate‑lanceolate, 20‑70 X 10‑15mm, keeled, margin and keels bearing translucent spines to 12 mm in length, apex acuminate‑aristate.  Inflorescence to 300mm.  Flowers 20-30, perianth white.

1982 – There is some controversy and confusion over the application of the name H. arachnoidea.  The difficulty stems from the interpretation of an illustration dating back to 1703.  However, the interpretation arrived at by Salm-Dyck appears reasonable and in the light of his illustration it is difficult to understand why H. setata was not earlier reconciled with this species.  H. arachnoidea is recognised by its uniformly plain green leaves.  The ‘cobweb’ suggested by the name, is derived from the many white hairs on the leaf margins and keel, which in a healthy well-grown specimen do indeed resemble a spider-web.  However, Ker-Gawler (1804) did not like this name ‘cobweb aloe’ given by Miller (1768) because he considered that the spined leaves more resembled the legs of a spider and hence the name.  The plants are variable in size even within populations. Normally they do not exceed 60 mm in diameter but in some populations magnificent specimens of over 120 mm diameter may occur.  The distribution does not coincide distinctly with any of its likely relatives and a great deal more information will be required before its relationship to any other species is better known.  H. arachnoidea occurs in Namaqualand and in the Ceres Karoo.  It is replaced on the Roggeveld Plateau near Sutherland and then eastwards, by H. semiviva.  Plants from the Merweville area suggest an affinity with H. decipiens but are without the rather broader, flatter leaves and more deltoid spines characteristic of that species.  H. arachnoidea occurs recognisably with H. archeri at Matjesfontein.  Forms further to the southwest have marked leaves and are a deeper purplish-green so that there may be some difficulty in reconciling them with H. arachnoidea.  There is no difficulty in recognising H. arachnoidea in the Worcester/Robertson Karoo, where it is quite common.  It is poorly known in the Montagu area apart from at Cogmanskloof, Baden and the Ouberg Pass.  A rather depauperate form is found in the Tradouw Pass south of Barrydale, and in the wider Ladismith area it is replaced by either H. unicolor or by H. habdomadis.  However, near Ladismith itself H. arachnoidea is small and densely white-spined – more coarsely so than in the Oudtshoorn area where the plants are often small and the spination is finer and a little softer too (see H. aranea).  A weaker spined but very proliferous form occurs in Meiringspoort, east of Oudtshoorn.  The distribution eastwards from here is not clear.  H. decipiens occurs at Klaarstroom north of the Swartberg mountains and it is possible that odd collections east of Uniondale, attributed to H. arachnoidea may in fact be either this species or H. unicolor.  The illustration in Flowering Plants of South Africa (1927) is clearly of H. cooperi.  H. arachnoidea is generally not proliferous and offsets very slowly if at all.  Its distribution is clearly that of a winter-growing species and its occurrence on south slopes and shaded under bushes suggests the treatment it should get in cultivation.

1999 – The 1703 illustration referred to above is the illustration t27 in Commelin’s Praeludia Botanica.  Bayer (in Excelsa 12:91, 1986) discusses the problem of interpretation surrounding this illustration and the associated confusion, pointing out that Scott’s analysis of the picture does not support his argument.  Thus Scott uses this illustration to typify his concept of H. arachnoidea which is the same as Bayer’s H. herbacea in this work.  Kerr-Gawler disliked Miller’s name ‘cobweb’, preferring the likeness to the spined leg of a spider rather than to the woolliness of its web.  General usage seems to have favoured the use of ‘arachnoidea’ in terms of woolliness rather than simply spiny.  If one looks at the illustration Botanical Magazine t.1417 that is used by Scott to typify his concept of H. translucens  (viz. Aloe arachnoidea var. translucens (Haw.) Ker-G.) the situation is further confounded.  The illustration in black and white indicates a species vegetatively fairly similar to the t27 of Commelin.  Scott applies the epithet to what, in terms of its reported location, can only be one of three species viz. H. arachnoidea (H. setata sensu Scott),  H. pehlemanniae or H.  marumaina var. archeri (H. marumiana sensu Scott).  The herbarium specimen referred to by him is certainly of the latter, while the illustration of his H. translucens appears to be of H. arachnoidea.  It is not clear what Haworth actually intended in his Revisions when he created the section Arachnoideae and omitted mention of H. arachnoidea.  I assume that he simply subsumed it under his H. setata.  When Salm-Dyck discussed Aloe setosa he seemed to suggest that it was a remnant not adequately covered by Haworth’s description.  Typification and usage of these old names is problematic and the scheme followed here does not have a flawless rationale.  However, Salm-Dyck’s illustrations of both Aloe arachnoides and Aloe setosa are certainly not of H. herbacea as perceived in this work.  In ascribing the type to the Worcester/Robertson Karoo there is an inherent problem in that elsewhere there will be a residue which may not be well accommodated in other varieties.  However, the name setata is taken up for the more centrally situated variety  which will better do that.

The varieties are largely geographic entities.  The discovery of H. nortieri var. pehlemanniae (Scott) Bayer, as well as that of variants of H. marumiana var. dimorpha, which are vegetatively practically inseparable from H. arachnoidea, create problems.  Var. pehlemanniae grows in very close proximity to H. arachnoidea var. scabrispina from which it quite distinctive, but it is very difficult to distinguish it from some of the other varieties without flower or habitat information.  Possibly the former has leaves which tend to be more flaccid and thicker when fully turgid.  We already know that H. mucronata var. mucronata may probably be the origin of arachnoidea-like plants in the Tradouw Pass.  A similar transition of a deviant population of H. mucronata from north of Montagu, to the Cogman’s Kloof, also occurs.  In the widest context, H. arachnoidea is impinged on by all three varieties of H. nortieri, as well as by H. marumiana var. archeri, H. mucronata, and H. decipiens.  It is quite probable that correctly interpreted, more than one species may be involved in the concept of H. arachnoidea given here.   However, there is no reason why over its whole range it should not exhibit the same degree of variation that for example H. magnifica or H. turgida exhibit over their comparatively restricted ranges.  The species does hybridise with H. blackburniae var. blackburniae and var graminifolia, as well as with H. truncata.


a. var. arachnoidea
The form common in the Worcester/Robertson Karoo is taken as the typical variety although the choice is arbitrary.  In this area there is no confusion with other species and although it grows in close association with a number of other species, there is no evidence of hybridisation.  This variety often occurs on southern slopes where it is embedded in moss and lichen, and thus very moist in the winter months.  The plants can reach as much as 18cm in diameter.  The basic leaf coloration is darkish-green and the marginal spines are white.  The terminal bristles tend to be blackish.

Distribution: 3319 Worcester): Hex River (-BD), Bruyns 2411 (NBG); Tonnel Stn. (-BD), Bayer in KG36/71 (NBG); Worcester (-CB), Fouche 14 (PRE); 8km NE. Worcester (-CB), Bayer in KG 640/69 (NBG); Worcester (-CB), Marloth 12572 (PRE), Venter 3 (BOL); Effata (-DA), Bayer in KG 118/70 (NBG); Buitenstekloof (-DB), Bayer 153 (NBG).

b. var. aranea (Berger) Bayer comb.nov
H. bolusii var. aranea Berger, Das Pflanzen. 33:114(1908).  Scott, :72(1985), not as illustrated.  H. aranea (Berger) Bayer :98(1976).  Bayer :29(1982).  Lectotype: icon :114,t39, Berger, Das Pflanzen. 33(1908).  Epitype (B&M): CAPE-3322 (Oudtshoorn): Moeras River (-CA), Bolus 12372 (BOL).

aranea: cobweb.

1982 – This species is described and illustrated in Berger’s revision.  The first comparable plants seen by the writer were from the fynbos vegetation between Oudtshoorn and Uniondale.  The uniform green coloration and soft canopy of hairs, as well as the existence of larger similar forms near Oudtshoorn itself, suggested an affinity with H. arachnoidea rather than with H. bolusii.  Since then a much smaller proliferous form of H. bolusii has been discovered by Peter Wilkins east of Jansenville which could well be closely related to H. aranea.  Here the plants have the typical bluish green colour and translucence of the upper leaves as in H. bolusii.  They occur in a flaking blue shale.  Plants close by in compacted brown shale are larger and with fewer firmer hairs.  It appears more likely that Berger’s plants originated from the Oudtshoorn area.  Until the complete picture of species distribution is available H. aranea is being retained.

1999 – No new information suggests any change here and it has long been known that it intergrades with H. arachnoidea var. setata around Dysseldorp and De Rust as well as in Schoemanspoort.  Thus H. arachnoidea in itself is so variable that the pressure for consistency seems to call for varietal rank.  Col Scott maintains this element as a variety of H. bolusii and cites a specimen which is apparently not that species at all, disregarding the comments made above.  Scott’s illustration also does not accord with the type of var. aranea species but nevertheless appears to represent H. arachnoidea.  The earlier comment ‘until the complete picture…’ is nonsense and it is unlikely that there can be new evidence to prove the original species closest to either bolusii or arachnoidea; nor likely or even possible that distribution data will clarify a position clouded by history.  This variety is characterised by its small size (to 6cm diam.) and very dense soft spination.  Despite the comments made in 1982 concerning colour and translucence, there opacity of the leaves of this variety (and the species) is often forgotten.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): Huis River Pass (-DA), Bruyns 1266a (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): S. Cango Caves (-AC), Bayer 4462 (NBG); Raubenheimer Dam (-AD), Bayer 4647 (NBG); Jagersrivier (-BD), Rossouw 411 (NBG); Moeras River (-CA), Esterhuysen 19497 (BOL, PRE), Bolus 12372 (BOL); Moeras River (-CC), Barker 7720 (NBG); De Rust (-DA), Kleinberg Forest (-DA), Matthews 1211 (NBG); Smith 4008 (NBG); Ganskraal (-DC), Fourcade 3398 (BOL), Stayner 174 (BOL), Bayer 2086 (NBG).  3324 (Steytlerville): Springbokvlakte (-BC), Bruyns 1827 (NBG).

c. var. namaquensis var.nov.
Type: CAPE-2917 (Springbok): Karrachabpoort, Richtersveld, Bayer 1674 (NBG, Holo.).

namaquensis: from Namaqualand.

Rosette as for species, to 60mm φ.  Leaves paler green.  (A var. arachnoidea foliis subviridibus et in terra valde submersa differt).

The var. namaquensis has not been previously accommodated.  It is essentially recognised for its geographic association and applies to populations in Namaqualand, Bushmanland and the Ceres Karoo.  The spination is usually moderate and the plants are usually lighter coloured than elsewhere in the species.  It also differs from the typical variety in being pale green and well-drawn into the soil.

Distribution: 2816 (Alexander Bay): Top Hellskloof (-BD), Roux 519 (BOL).  2817 (Vioolsdrift): Cornellsberg (-CA), Bruyns 3305 (NBG); N. Lekkersing (-CC), Venter 93/8; Kliphoogte (-CD), Bayer 1652 (NBG).  2917 (Springbok): Lekkersing (AA), Smithers in NBG3092/35 (BOL); Karrachabpoort (-AB), Bayer 1674 (NBG); Steinkopf (-BA), Meyer (NBG); N. Steinkopf (-BB), Venter 88/35; Springbok (-CA), Hurling & Neil (BOL); 20km E. Springbok (-CA), Salter 3773 (BOL); Kourkamma (-CD), Bruyns 6745 (NBG);  Meyer in PRE 34984.  2918 (Aggenys): Witbank (-AC), Venter 92/105; Kangas (-CB) Venter 91/44.  3017 (Hondeklipbaai): Soebatsfontein (-AB), Le Roux 3991 (NBG).  3018 (Kamiesberg): Hosabees (-AA), Venter 89/37; Putsiesekloof (AD), Bruyns 4774 (BOL); Kotzesrus (-CA), Bruyns in KG 274/76 (NBG); 6km NE. Garies (-CA), Leistner 733 (PRE); NE. Bitterfontein (-CD), Venter 91/43.  3019 (Loeriesfontein): Donkiedam (-CC), Bruyns 6818.  3118 (Vanrhynsdorp): Komkans (-AA), Peers (BOL); Mierhoofdskastell (-AA), Barker 6383 (NBG), Venter 91/73; SE. Nuwerus (-AB), Lewis (BOL); NW. Nieuwoudtville (-BB), Venter 94/28; Liebendal (-CB), Hall (NBG).  3119 (Calvinia): Ezelskop (-AA), Bruyns 6832; Koringberg (-AB), Bayer 3398 (NBG); Beeswater (-BC), Bayer 3423 (NBG); Keiskieberg (-DB), Perry 1994 (NBG).  3219 (Wuppertal): Skitterykloof (-DC), Bayer 2574 (NBG); Ceres Karoo (-DD), Bayer 1619 (NBG), Herre in Stell.6391 (BOL).  3220 (Sutherland): Ganagas Pass (-AA), Venter 89/51; Ouberg Pass (-AD), Bruyns 2547 (BOL); Verlatenkloof (-DA), Bayer 4320 (NBG); Sutherland to Laingsburg (-DD) Smith 7392 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Little Namaqualand, Britten in PRE 34983.

d. var. nigricans (Haw.) Bayer comb. nov
H. setata var. nigricans Haw., Revis. :56(1821).  Type: Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3321(Ladismith): SW. Vanwyksdorp, Bayer 2419 (NBG):  H. helmiae V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:201(1937). Scott :99(1985).  H. unicolor var. helmiae (V.Poelln.) Bayer : 121(1976), Bayer 59:(1982):  Type: Cape, Heidelberg, Smithers in Triebn. 901, Gt Brak River, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 901. Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon, (B).  Epitype (designated here): CAPE‑3322 (Oudtshoorn): Schoemanspoort (‑AC), Bayer 171 (NBG).  H. venteri V.Poelln., Cactus.J 8:19(1939).  H. unicolor var. venteri (V.Poelln.) Bayer :166(1976).  Bayer :59(1982):  H. aristata sensu Scott :110(1985)  Type: Cape, Barrydale Distr. Major Venter (not preserved).  Lectotype (designated here): CAPE-3320 (Montagu): Barrydale to Lemoenshoek (-DC), Smith 3994 (NBG).

nigricans: blackish, for the dark hues.

1982 – The type locality for H. venteri was recorded by Smith as ” 3/4m. Barrydale‑Lemoenshoek”, although Major H. Venter’s localities are very broadly stated in publication and practically valueless.  Only Smith’s notes give any better clue to these but in this case there is still no certainty.  However, there is a very common species extending from Barrydale to Oudtshoorn from which this variety is clearly drawn.  At Barrydale itself the plants are rather pale green with elongated sparsely setate leaves – this is regarded here as the species H. unicolor.  Eastwards the plants are more robust and often glabrous, usually distinguished by particularly dark‑purplish coloration towards the leaf tips.  The further eastwards one progresses the more setate the plants become until at Oudtshoorn, south of the Cango Caves, the plants are comparatively small and more softly setate (H. unicolor var. helmiae).

It is not in the least clear what the relationship is between H. unicolor and H. arachnoidea.  They do not appear to cohabit which suggests that they may be conspecific and only differentiated on an ecotypic basis. This is borne out by the pale arachnoidea‑like population at the northern entrance to the Tradouw Pass, south of Barrydale.  However at Ladismith H. arachnoidea is present as a very distinct heavily setate form, and similarly south of the Cango Caves it occurs near to H. unicolor var. helmiae as a softer haired but also highly setate form.  The species H. unicolor is therefore not well‑known or properly understood and this solution must be regarded as suspect.  Von Poellnitz’s citations of localities for the var. helmiae are highly confusing and in Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. 44:223(1938) are totally disparate.  The type is cited in 1938 as “Great Brak River, Mrs Helm” and three Triebner numbers are added to this.  Mrs Helm’s strong personal recollection (private communication, and acknowledgement to Col C.L. Scott) is that the original plants were collected at a specific site south of the Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn.  The photograph extant in the Botanical Museum Dahlem (which must serve as the type) is of a very poor specimen, but it can be reasonably allied with plants from the site given by Mrs Helm.  It is concluded that it is an extension of the complex to which it is here referred.  J.R. Brown’s illustrations in Cact.Succ.J(U.S.) 18:39(1946) are not of this variety.

1999 – The incorporation of H. unicolor var. venteri under H. arachnoidea as the var. nigricans of Haworth represents a major change.   Smith does state that his collection is from the locality to which he was directed by Col Venter.  The type selected by Breuer and Metzing for the name venteri, is doubtful because of the locality cited.  The initial problem was to relate unicolor (= H. mucronata) to a substantial species body, which I could not previously do.  How this problem is resolved is also discussed under H. mucronata.  It is clearer now that var. nigricans is better associated along its northern and western borders with var. arachnoidea and there are areas where it is not possible to make a distinction between these two varieties.  This realisation suggests the re-application of Haworth’s original name which means blackish-green.  From records of Dekenah’s collections it appears that var. venteri does interface with H. mucronata in the southwest and I can confirm this from my own collection from south of Vanwyksdorp.

Regarding H. helmiae:  neither of the three numbers given by von Poellnitz in 1938 agrees with Heidelberg, Smithers in Triebner 901 as in the original description, to which was added a collection of Mrs Helm’s from Great Brak.  In addition Von Poellnitz cites several quite disparate and improbable localities between Worcester in the west and Avontuur in the east.  Where H. helmiae was reputed to have been actually collected (Schoemanspoort), fairly glabrous forms occur together with softly spinose ones.  These are small dark elements with very reduced spines and often without spines at all (they do not resemble the softish translucent plants figured by Brown as mentioned above).  They must be closely associated with the var. nigricans (previously unicolor var. venteri) and the change of interpretation here makes it very much easier to accommodate a very wide range of forms which tend to be glabrous and without any spines.

Southwest of Oudtshoorn var. nigricans can be robust with heavy spines and it is probably here that H. ferox var. armata V.Poelln. originated.  The point is made that H. arachnoidea does have glabrous variants and they are generally accommodated in this variety.

It is distinguished by the purplish coloration towards the tips of the leaves and the generally darker colour.  The leaves tend to be broader and the spines larger and sparser than for the species generally.  Glabrous forms with pronounced keels commonly occur and the more delicate softer versions of this can perhaps be ascribed to H. mucronata var. integra.   These variants of H. mucronata are distinguished by their translucent margins and keel.  The interaction between that species and H. arachnoidea is an interesting field for investigation.

Distribution: 3320 (Montagu): Jagerskraal (-AB), Bayer 3612 (NBG); Kareevlakte (-AD), Archer (BOL); SE. Konstabel Stn.(-BC), Bruyns 2448 (NBG); Elandskloof (-BD), Bruyns 2418 (NBG); Prinspoort (-BC), Venter 91/114 (NBG); Keurfontein (-BD), Bruyns in KG18/76 (NBG); 24km Montagu to Ladismith (-CB), Esterhuysen (BOL); Bellair Dam (-DA), Venter 5 (NBG); E. Barrydale (-DC), Bayer 4671 (NBG), Stanford (BOL); W, Barrydale (-DC), Smith 5770, 7310 (NBG); Brandrivier (-DD), Smith 3995 (NBG); Near Barrydale (-DD), Smith 5672, 3994 (NBG); E. Lemoenshoek (-DD), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Bayer in KG126/72 (NBG), Stayner in KG15/67 (NBG); Warmwaterberg (-DD), Bayer 1704 (NBG); W. Warmwaterberg (-DD), Bayer 4575 (NBG).  3321 (Ladismith): N. Calitzdorp (-BC), Bayer in KG441/75 (NBG); Winkelplaas (-CA), Bayer 2716 (NBG); S. Ladismith (-CA), Smith 5506 (NBG); Ockertskraal (-CA), Smith 4004, 5510 (NBG); W. Ladismith (-CA), Smith 7140 (NBG), Bayer 1624 (NBG); Die Eike (-CA), Laidler 314 (NBG); SW. Ladismith (-CA), Bayer 1615 (NBG); Kareebosch (-CA), Laidler 481 (NBG); Adamskraal (-CA), Smith 4002 (NBG), Bayer 1617 (NBG), Ferguson 5 (BOL); Ladismith to Vanwyksdorp (CB), Bayer in KG573/51 (NBG); Springfontein (-CC), Smith 5657, 7325 (NBG), Bayer in KG 166/71 (NBG); W. Springfontein (-CC), Smith 5379 (NBG), Bayer in KG167/71 (NBG); Muiskraal (-CC), Smith 3989, 7136 (NBG), Bohnen 8416 (NBG); Riversdale to Ladismith (-CC), Smith 537 (NBG); Muurkeeskraal (-CC), Smith 4000, 3976, 3995, 3997, 7138 (NBG); W. Vanwyksdorp (-CD), Bayer 2418 (NBG), Stayner in KG57/67 (NBG); S. Vanwyksdorp (-CD), Bayer 2419 (NBG); S. Calitzdorp (-DA), Bayer in KG126/72 (NBG), Bayer in KG125/73 (NBG); Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp (-DB), Bayer 1616 (NBG); Warmwaterbron (-DB), Bayer in KG115/71 (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): Schoemanspoort (‑AC), Bayer 171 (NBG); N. Oudtshoorn (-AC), Bayer 4499 (NBG). Volmoed (-CA), Bayer 4656 (NBG), Zeekoeigat (-CA), Gie (NBG); Mt Hope (-CB), Bruyns in KG437/75 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Near Doornrivier, Helm in Fourcade 4740 (BOL); Caledon, Venter 9 (BOL);

e. var. scabrispina var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3320(Laingsburg): Baviaans (-BA), Bayer 2105 (NBG. Holo.).

scabrispina: rough-spined.

Rosette roundish and raised above ground level.  Leaves with firm rigid brownish spines.  (A var. arachnoidea spinis rigidis bruneolis differt).

The var. scabrispina is created to accommodate the southern Karoo elements which have very hard stiff spines.  The plants tend to be raised and the leaves and spines are fairly rigid so that the plants form quite rounded spheres rather than flattened rosettes.  There are populations in which the plants have the spines produced from translucent raised bases and also in which the upper petals do not curve upward.  This seems to suggest some affinity with H. marumiana var. archeri.

Distribution: 3220 (Sutherland); 35km N. Laingsburg (-DC), Bayer 2124 (NBG).  3221 (Merweville): Schoppelmaaikraal (-CD), Bruyns in KG30/76 (NBG).  3320 (Montagu): N. Baviaans Stn. (-BA), Bayer 2105 (NBG); Whitehill Ridge (-BA), Barker 13368 (NBG), Archer (BOL); Laingsburg (-BB), Lewis & Barker in NBG2772/32 (BOL); Nougaspoort (-CA), Bayer 1963 (NBG); 20km W. Ladismith (-CA), Bayer 4462 (NBG).

f. var. setata (Haw.) Bayer comb. nov. 
H. setata Haw., Suppl. Pl.Succ.:52(1819).  Brown, Cact.Succ.J(U.S.) 16:3(1944).  Scott, Aloe 16:42(1978).  Scott :68(1985).  Type: not preserved.  Neotype (see Scott, 1985): icon, artist unknown, specimen received from Dr Mackrill ex Cape, (K):  H. setata var. media Haw., Revis. :56(1821).  Type: Not preserved:  H. setata var. major Haw. ibid.  Type: Not preserved:  H. gigas V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 31:84(1932).  H. setata var. gigas ibid. 44:224(1938).  Type: Cape, Amalienstein, Stellenbosch 6692 (not preserved).  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3321(Ladismith): Amalienstein, Smith 7390 (NBG):  H. minima var. major V. Poelln., Kakt.u.and.Sukk. :39(1938).  H. tenera var. major Uitew., Sukkulenta :52(1948).  Type (designated here): Cape, Derust, Mrs Helm (not preserved).  Neotype: CAPE-3322(Oudtshoorn): Meiringspoort (-BC), Bayer in KG 160/72 (NBG):  Aloe setosa Roem. et Schultes, Syst.Veg. 7:641(1829).  Salm-Dyck, Monogr. 12:f3(1841).  Type: Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): icon, f3 Salm Dyck, Monogr. 12(1840).

setata: bristled.

This variety tends to have dense white spines which do not blacken on drying, and the texture of the species is always softer than the var. scabrispina.  It is quite a variable element and like the var. nigricans is also closely interwoven with H. mucronata.  Although usually moderate in size and only upto about 8cm in diam., some robust specimens occur east of Ladismith.  Two specimens are cited below from the Jansenville district and it is more probable that they belong with H. decipiens var. cyanea.

Distribution: 3224 (Graaff Reinett): Jansenville (-DC), Long 1321 (PRE); Jansenville (-DC), Marloth 9384 (PRE).  3320 (Montagu): Keurkloof (-BC), Barker 1913 (NBG); Elandskloof (-BD), Bruyns 2259 (NBG); Buffelsrivier Pass (-BD), Bruyns 2564 (NBG); Cogmans Kloof (-CA), Esterhuysen (BOL), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Long 1124 (PRE), Smith 7224 (NBG), Stayner in KG38/67 (NBG), Otzen in NBG 1316/35, Barker 8266 (NBG), Smith 3989, 7490 (NBG); Prins River (-DB), Bruyns 2462 (NBG); Barrydale (-DC), Smithers (BOL); Tradouw Pass (-DC), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Smith 3991, 6782, 6789 (NBG), Thompson 664 (NBG).  3321 (Ladismith): Amalienstein (-AD), Herre in Stell.6639 (BOL), Smith 7390 (NBG); Huis River Pass (-BC), Smith 7389 (NBG); Opsoek (-BC), Smith 6886 (NBG); S. Ladismith (-CB), Bayer in KG 160/72 (NBG), Smith 5507 (NBG), Joubert 10 (BOL); 5km S. Ladismith (-CB), Smith 5652 (NBG); 6km S. Ladismith (-CB), Smith 5729, 5733 (NBG), Stayner in KG42/70 (NBG); 14km E. Ladismith (-CB), Bayer in KG593/71 (NBG); W. Vanwyksdorp (-CB), Bayer in KG535/71 (NBG); Groenfontein (-DA), Smith 6888 (NBG); Calitzdorp (-DA), Fouche 53 (PRE); E. Vanwyksdorp (-DA), Bayer 5753, in KG388/71 (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): 32km S. Prince Albert (-AC), James (BOL), Taute (BOL); Boomplaas (-AC), Moffett 141 (NBG); Schoemanspoort (-AC), Bruyns in KG92/77 (NBG), Smith 5230 (NBG); Meiringspoort (-BC), Bayer in KG160/72 (NBG); Oudtshoorn (-CA), Smith 5785 (NBG), Bolus 12375 (BOL); N. Dysselsdorp (-CB), Bayer & Venter 6608 (NBG).  3324 (Steytlerville): N. Steytlerville (-AC), Bayer & Venter 6610 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Ladismith, Jordaan (BOL), Joubert 11 (BOL); Sundays River Estate, Heatlie in NBG254/25 (BOL).

g. var. xiphiophylla (Baker) Bayer comb.nov. 
Haworthia xiphiophylla Baker, Fl.Cap. 6:354(1896).  Baker, Curtis’ Bot.Mag. t.7505(1896).  Bayer :168(1976).  Bayer :61(1982).  Scott :73(1985).  H. setata var. xiphiophylla (Bak.) V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:225(1938).  Type: Cape, Uitenhage, Howlett (K):  H. longiaristata V. Poelln., Kakteenkunde 9:134(1937).  Type: Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3325 (Port Elizabeth): N. Coega Station (-DA), Mrs E.B. King (NBG).

xiphiophylla: sword‑like leaves.

1982 – This is a bright green species with broad but short, well‑spaced marginal teeth.  The leaves are long and slender.  H. xiphiophylla is found in the vicinity of Uitenhage and Coega.  It has been regarded as a variety of H. arachnoidea but this is highly unlikely from the viewpoint of distribution only.  A number of anomalous populations at Coega, Dead Man’s Gulch and Kirkwood confuse the issue.  Thus H. translucens and H. xiphiophylla pose an intriguing and interesting problem for the field worker.

1999 – The latter sentence is also fairly typical of the loose words used when the herbarium record is inadequate.  This is a bright green variety with broad but short, well‑spaced marginal teeth.  The leaves are long and slender.  The incorporation into H. arachnoidea is to include the variables along the southern Swartberg mountains from Anysberg through to Steytlerville where the species meets with the Eastern Cape variants.  One of the populations alluded to is represented in this work by the ‘re-discovered’ H. aristata.  From the collections by J.D. Venter, it seems that var. xiphiophylla does merge directly with var. arachnoidea at its westerly limits.  I would have expected a relationship with the greener, braoder leaved H. decipiens var pringlei as discussed under that species.  However, var. xiphiophylla does not develop translucent windows and the leaf spines tend to be separate and narrow at the base.  The flowering time appears to be early summer ahead of typical var. arachnoidea which flowers in the summer.

Distribution: 3324 (Steytlerville): 30km E. Steytlerville (-BC), Venter 85/68 (NBG).  3325(Port Elizabeth): Mentz Dam (-AA), Venter 91/122 (NBG); S. Mentz Dam (-AC), Venter 91/117 (NBG); Mannetjie (-CA), Venter 94/19 (NBG); Maraishoop (-CA), Smith 3583 (NBG); Bauerskraal (-CB), Venter 93/75 (NBG); Sandfontein (-CB), Archibald in NBG 1326/32; Uitenhage (-CB), Britten in PRE 34951; De Rust, 2km NW. Couga Kop (-DC), Branch 5 (NBG); Couga Kop (-DC), Smith 3546 (NBG), Britten (BOL).

ed. – Also see A fleeting look at Haworthia arachnoidea, and A shadow of the past – Haworthia arachnoidea again. (1999)

H. arachnoidea - 1844
H. xiphiophylla - 5005
Haworthia arachnoidea (L.) Duval
[as Aloe arachnoides Thunb.]
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine,
vol. 20: t. 756 (1804) [S.T. Edwards]
Haworthia arachnoidea (L.) Duval
[as Haworthia xiphiophylla Baker]
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine,
vol. 122 [ser. 3, vol. 52]: t. 7505 (1896) [M. Smith]

Haworthia Revisited – 3. Haworthia aristata

3. Haworthia aristata Haw., Suppl.Pl.Succ. :51(1819),  Rev.Pl.Succ. :58(1821).  Non V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 43:92(1938).  Non Jacobsen 2:537(1954).  Non Scott, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 35:12(1980).  Non Scott :110(1985).  Type: Cape, ex hort Kew.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): icon (K).  Epitype (designated here): CAPE-3325(Port Elizabeth: Deadmans Gulch (Soutkloof) (-DA), Smith 3550 (NBG):  H. denticulata Haw., Rev.Pl.Succ. :58(1821).  Baker, JLinn.Soc. 18:213(1880).  V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:199(1937).  non idem. 45:168(1938).  Type: Cape, ex hort. Kew.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): icon, Kew library.

aristata: furnished with an awn.

Rosette stemless, proliferating slowly, to 6cm φ.  Leaves slender, erect, incurved, dark-green, margins and keel entire or finely spined, with little translucence and faintly reticulated.  Inflorescence simple, lax.  Flowers 10-15, white.

In the first editions of the Handbook these two names were rejected as insufficiently known, and I did not agree with von Poellnitz’ use of aristata for his later H. unicolor.  I mentioned too with regard to H. denticulata, that Von Poellnitz had consistently allied that name to the Hankey H. translucens (now gracilis) complex.  However, von Poellnitz cites a number of improbable associates, further lists it as a variety of H. altilinea, and also describes it as having translucence.  I do thus do also not agree with Scott’s 1985 interpretation where he overlooks the very translucent margins and keel of the species (see H. mucronata) to which he applies the name.  It is only recently when I re-examined collections in the Compton herbarium, and a collection received from W.R. Branch from Addo, that it became apparent that Haworth’s two species can be allied to collections which have previously been hidden in H. gracilis.  As applied here, it is indeed to a small dainty species which has very little translucence to the leaf.  It is odd that the description as it appears translated in Scott (1980), reads ‘resembles a dark green cuspidata..’.  Haworth’s description refers to Sempervivum cuspidatum and not to the big presumed hybrid Haworthia of that name.  The late F.J. Stayner had in private communication commented on this odd species from Cougakop, east of Port Elizabeth.  He collected specimens for the Karoo garden and these are still in cultivation.  It was treated as a variant of H. xiphiophylla because it was not as translucent as most of the small elements in that area are, and because it was not substantial in terms of botanical record.  Cougakop is now virtually quarried away.  H. aristata is represented by about four collections from that area and also by three collections by P.V. Bruyns from further north and west.  Here the plants do show some translucence and also tend to bluish-green, so it is possible that it may link up with small forms of H. decipiens.  It should not be assumed that this element is really subtstantial enough as recent attempts to establish its validity have not been very successful.  The collection from Mt Stewart cited below is probably H. decipiens var, minor.

3324 (Steytlerville): S. Mt. Stewart (-AB), Bruyns 1812 (NBG).  3325 (Port Elizabeth): Stonefountain (-BA), Bruyns 1654 (NBG); E. Verdun (-BB), Bruyns 1630 (NBG); Near Kommadagga (-BC), Smith 5890 (NBG); Soutkloof (-DA), Swart (NBG), Stayner in KG7/76 (NBG), Branch 459 (NBG); van Jaarsveld 6902 (NBG); Deadmans Gulch (Soutkloof) (-DA), Smith 3550 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Somerset East, Herre in STE6612 (BOL).


Haworthia Revisited – 4. Haworthia bayeri

4. Haworthia bayeri Venter & Hammer, Cact.Succ.J. (U.S.) 69:75(1997).  H. emelyae p.p. Bayer, figs. 10 & 11 in Natn.Cact.Succ.J 34:28(1979). p.p. Bayer :109(1976).  Bayer :38(1986): H. willowmorensis sensu Scott, Aloe 11:8(1973).  H. correcta sensu Scott :74(1985).  Type: CAPE-3323 (Willowmore): Hills S. Uniondale (-CA), F.J. Stayner in KG164/69 (NBG).

bayeri: for M.B. Bayer.

Rosette stemless, 15-20 leaves.  Leaves: retused, dark brownish-green to blackish- green, slightly scabrid, keels and margins with minute spines, or smooth, tip rounded and not pointed, the end-area opaque, cloudy transparent, with sparse reticulate patterning or longitudinal lines.  Inflorescence to 300mm.  Flowers 15-25.

This species is in some respect an embarrassment to me.  The fact that it now bears my name may be a tribute but it also points to falibility.  It must surely be one of the more spectacular of the retuse-leaved species and my own two illustrations in 1979 indicate how clearly different it is to H. emelyae.  It is only after the publication of the revised Handbook that I saw this species growing in the very near vicinity of H. emelyae var. comptoniana.  I was also aware that a Dysselsdorp collection of mine flowered at a different time to H. emelyae.  Dr W.R. Branch of Port Elizabeth had also sent me a plant from near the western end of the Baviaanspoort near Willowmore which was more like H. bruynsii than H. emelyae.  David Cumming of Australia had also commented in his astutely observant way that there were two species involved.  Robert Kent’s discussion of this species in Haworthiad (7:15, 1993) under the title H. emelyae, deals with the original description of H. correcta.  His view is that while Mrs Blackburn may have collected H. bayeri at Uniondale as Scott contends, it was not the element described and illustrated by von Poellnitz.  The photograph in Kakteenkunde is not the species from Uniondale and shows the leaves as pointed as they are in H. emelyae.   My collections of H. bayeri were grown rather hard and were never free of surface encrustation, and neither did my specimens of H. emelyae ever reach a pristine condition.  This further obfuscated already poor observation on my part.  There is a reliable report of a collection of this species in the Rooinek Pass south of Laingsburg which constitutes a considerable extension of its range.

H. bayeri always has a rounder leaf-tip than does H. emelyae and in cultivation develops a dark green coloration.  The translucence of the leaves is deeper and there is no flecking in the leaves as is the case in H emelyae.  There is no significant difference in the habitats where the two species are found.  H. bayeri is a small degree eastward from H. emelyae, north of the Kamanassie Mountains, and does not go much further west than Oudtshoorn.  This species has the potential to produce the same stunning range of selected cultivars that Japanese growers have produced in H. truncata.

3321 (Ladismith): Rooinek Pass (-BB), Venter sn. (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): S. Oudtshoorn (-CA), Peers in NBG1940/37, Smith 5780, 5781 (NBG), Bayer in KG111/72 (NBG); De Rust (-BC), Smith 2061, 2062 (NBG); 3km S. De Rust (-CB), J. Scott 243 (PRE); Doringkloof (-CB), Bayer in KG146/72 (NBG); E. De Rust (-DB), Smith 2062, 4009 (NBG), Rossouw 404 (NBG).  3323(Willowmore); SW. Willowmore (-AC), Smith 5206 (NBG); E. Willowmore (-BC), Viviers 908 (NBG); S. Uniondale (CA), Stayner in KG164/69 (NBG).


Haworthia Revisited – 5. Haworthia blackburniae

5. Haworthia blackburniae Barker, JS.Afr.Bot. 3:93(1937). Bayer :103(1976). Bayer :38(1986). Scott :2(1985). Type: Calitzdorp, Reynolds 1842 (NBG).

blackburniae: for Mrs H. Blackburn.

Roots fusiform. Rosette stemless, fibrous, 10-15mm φ at base, clumping. Leaves 10-15, long slender, to 400 X 1.5 to 5mm, channeled on the upper surface, margins glabrous or finely spined, colour bright green to brownish green or dark greyish green. Inflorescence simple raceme, to 300mm. Flowers white, green veined, 15-20.


a. var. blackburniae
The typical variety shows considerable variation over its range. The leaves may be very long and slender, or even be squat, short and with a tendency to flex downward and sideways. Leaf coloration bright green.

1982 – This is one of two unusual species with long slender canaliculate grass-like leaves, fibrous dry leaf bases, and thick fusiform roots. It is common in quartzitic rock in the Rooiberg mountains southeast of Calitzdorp and extending to about 32 km west of Ladismith. The full extent of its distribution and hence also its variability, is not known. Originally found growing singly and exposed, it generally prefers a cooler protected southern aspect where it forms dense clumps. In some forms the leaves are only 60 to 80mm long but as much as 3mm wide. In others the leaves may be 200mm or more long and only 2mm wide. H. blackburniae is very slow and difficult in cultivation. The Little Karoo is technically a summer rainfall area but with rainfall peaks in March and September/October. The hot dry summers discourage plant growth and many of the indigenous plants respond best to the cool wetter winters.

1999 – Many new collections have precipitated the decision to now include H. graminifolia here. H. blackburniae has in recent times been collected northeast of Calitzdorp as well as much further west in the Touwsberg and Anysberg. There are variants with more slender leaves which are toothed. Most significant is the collection by Jan Vlok in the De Rust area which is given varietal status here. Mention of the bluer-green coloration of the leaves of var. graminifolia was omitted from my previous discussions. This colour difference seems to be the only significant character which can really contribute to the decision to recognise three varieties. There is speculation about the affinities of this species. The fibrous nature of the stem as well as the broad insertion of the leaf onto the stem suggest a close relation with H. wittebergensis, which is very similar in these respects. This relationship is confirmed by Dr M. Hayashi (priv. comm.) on the basis of similar karyotypes. Interestingly Smith had, in his records, proposed a variety ladismithensis for plants collected southwest of Ladismith which flowered two months ahead of the Calitzdorp collections. Thus while flowering time is significant it may also vary quite dramatically within a species.

3320 (Montagu): Prinspoort (-BC), Bruyns (NBG). 3321 (Ladismith): W. Ladismith (-AC), Bayer in KG100/74 (NBG); Hartmansberg (-BC), Bruyns (NBG); SW. Ladismith (CA), Smith 5505 (NBG); Assegaaibos (-DA), Bayer 4429 (NBG); Rooiberg (-CB), Acocks 20395 (PRE); Rooiberg (-DA), Smith 2062 (NBG), Bayer 4428 (NBG); 12km SW. Calitzdorp (-DA), Blackburn in Reynolds 1842 (PRE); Calitzdorp (-DA), Blackburn in NBG1174/36 (NBG); Blackburn Valley (-DA), Barker 5094 (NBG, PRE) Warmbaths (-DB), Bayer in KG100/740 (NBG) Inadequately located: ex hort. Thudichum in NBG130/43 (NBG); Calitzdorp, Blackburn in BOL21933, Barker 5094 (BOL).

b. var. derustensis var.nov.
Type: CAPE-3222 (Oudtshoorn): West of De Rust (-BC), J. Vlok in J.D. Venter 93/24 (NBG, Holo.).

derustensis: from Derust.

Rosette robust, to 18mm φ. Leaves very long, to 450 X 3mm wide, brownish green at base, green above. (A H. blackburniae var. graminifolia foliis bruneo-viridibus validissimis et subtiliter striatis differt).

This variety was discovered by Jan Vlok east of Oudtshoorn in the De Rust area. It differs in that it is far more robust than the species, while the colour of the leaves has a brownish tinge and the leaves tend to be more erect. It occurs on the north upper slopes of conglomerate hills together with Euphorbia enopla. The brownish coloration is more pronounced in the old leaf bases. The seeds are surprisingly large. According to S. Hammer, the leaves of seedlings are characteristically striped. There is a difference in the flowers and the flowering time is also earlier than in the other two varieties. This robust variety also is a vigorous grower in contrast to the other two which are generally slow in cultivation.

3222 (Oudtshoorn): West of Derust (-BC), J. Vlok in Venter 93/24, (NBG).

c. var. graminifolia (Smith) Bayer (stat. nov.):
H. graminifolia Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 8:247(1942). Bayer :120(1976). Bayer :40(1982). Scott :3(1985). Type: CAPE 3322(Oudtshoorn): Schoemanspoort ( AC), M. Courtenay Latimer in Smith 5222 (NBG).

graminifolia: grass like leaves.

1982 – When first collected, the plants were presumed to be a new species of Aloe and given to G.W. Reynolds. It was only when they flowered that they were seen to be a new Haworthia species. The leaves can be over 300 mm long but are seldom more than 1,5 mm wide. They are more channelled than is the case in H. blackburniae, and the margins are armed with minute white teeth. The leaf bases are amplexicaul and fibrous to papery not at all swollen or bulb like. The roots on the other hand are very thickened and fleshy. The narrow attachment to the stem is very easily broken or damaged and this must be guarded against when moving plants. H. graminifolia is only known in Schoemanspoort, north of Oudtshoorn. A smaller form has been reported on the rocky slopes above the Cango Caves, and collections have also reputedly been made from further west. Although separated from H. blackburniae on the basis of the narrower leaf and pronounced marginal teeth, this distinction may fail as the species becomes better known. H. graminifolia occurs on cooler, higher south slopes and is winter-growing. It is not as proliferous as H. blackburniae although J. Dekenah spoke of huge clumps overhanging the road between Oudtshoorn and the Cango Caves. This has never been confirmed, and H. graminifolia remains very scarce.

1999 – I have no indications that var. graminifolia is any commoner than I have suggested. The very slender leaves and their coloration were all that influenced the decision to maintain it earlier at species level. Leaf channeling is as much a characteristic in the typical variety, as is the presence of marginal leaf spines. Curiously I seem to have confounded the initial response to the collection of this variety by Miss Courtenay-Latimer. Scott I think correctly states that it was in fact H. blackburniae which was first considered to be an Aloe species. I clearly recall Miss Latimer also recounting her reaction to seeing the plant for the first time and her response was also to consider it an Aloe rather than an Haworthia. If she collected it in the absence of flowers, she must have indeed been very observant to have identified it among the many grass-like look-alikes, as being of interest to G.G. Smith. A collection by Peter Bruyns in the Gamkapoort is very similar to the original from Schoemanspoort, having perhaps a less blue coloration to the leaves, which are also slightly broader.

3321 (Ladismith): Hartmansberg (-BC), Bruyns sn. (BOL). 3322 (Oudtshoorn): Schoemanspoort ( AC), M. Courtenay Latimer in Smith 5222 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 6. Haworthia bolusii

6. Haworthia bolusii Baker, JLinn.Soc. 18:215(1880).  Bayer :104(1976).  Bayer :31(1982).  Scott :71(1985).  Type: CAPE-3224 (Graaff-Reinet): Graaff-Reinet, Bolus 158 (K).

bolusii: after H. Bolus

Rosette from 40-150mm φ, slowly proliferating. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, incurved, not acuminate or truncating, translucent bluish green, with spines on margins and keel >2mm long.  Inflorescence robust, simple.  Flowers broad and flat across upper basal part.

1982-  The previous concept of H. bolusii was based on plants occurring around Graaff-Reinet.  Here the plants are 50-60 mm in diameter and the white bristly leaves are tightly closed over the centre of the plant.  The essential difference between this species and H. arachnoidea is the colour.  H. bolusii has translucent bluish-green or greyish-green leaves.  Further investigation in the field has shown that it is not possible to clearly separate H. bolusii and the previously recognised and larger H. blackbeardiana.  Thus H. bolusii is now here considered to be a widely distributed species with a fair degree of variability.  It extends from Middelburg to Sterkstroom and southwards to Graaff Reinet and Cradock.  The distribution extends further southwestwards in the eastern Karoo to Klipplaat and Jansenville, where very small forms occur in some habitats.  It is probable that the small, relatively hairless plants south of Klipplaat are extreme forms of H. bolusii.  Similarly there are aberrant, small forms with rather fewer but larger leaves than normal in the extreme northwest near Barclay East.  At Middelburg the plants are also very large (up to 150 mm diameter) as they can also be at Cradock.  There is no justification for upholding H. batteniae in which the supposed distinguishing characters, viz. spiralled florets and raised leaf venation, are wholly fortuitous.  The problem really lies in separating H. cooperi and H. bolusii as discussed under the former species.  H. bolusii is technically in the summer rainfall region, but responds to winter growing conditions.  Good light is necessary if it is to be grown to handsome natural appearances.

1999 – Col Scott’s perceptions of var. blackbeardiana, H. mucronata, H. cooperi and H. batteniae perhaps reflect the problem in this melange of species.  Scott’s H. mucronata seems to include the relatively glabrous elements of three different species.  His 1983 discussion of that species includes what is quite obviously the spined H. cooperi var. pilifera.  My perception is that H. cooperi is a main element and includes several of Scott’s species.  It is in fact difficult to exclude H. bolusii if the var. blackbeardiana is placed with cooperi; unless a distinction is made between elements which tend to have at least partially truncated leaf ends.  My dilemma is that blackbeardiana could have been placed as a variety of H. cooperi as there is unquestionably a close alliance.  However, this is largely a problem of the nomenclatural system.  Had H. cooperi not been described, it would have not been presented here as a species but rather as a variety of a more substantial species.  I concluded that larger elements with the more lanceolate leaves and longer spines from the higher altitudes of the Eastern Cape formed a more logical and coherent entity.  In the northern Transkei (higher altitude) there appear to be elements with truncated leaves which I would assign to H. cooperi var. obtusata).

A similar problem arises in the wider Port Elizabeth area where a similar transition to H. decipiens occurs.  I have experienced difficulty with plants collected east of Pearston but have never had adequate material on which to pass an opinion.


a.  var. bolusii.
This typical variety is a smallish element in which the spination is dominant.  The spines are fine and fully cover the plant so that it appears like a white ball.  There is no clear integration with H. semiviva, but near Murraysburg and also at Victoria West the plants do show some tendency for leaf tips to die back as in that species.  The collection from Jansenville cited below has understandably been confused with H. arachnoidea var. aranea because of the fine spination.  It does have the bluish coloration of bolusii.  A short distance away, on dolerite soils as opposed to tillite, the plants are larger and more typical of this species too.

3123 (Richmond): E. Murraysberg (-DD), Bayer 2389; Murraysburg (-DD), Banks (BOL).  3124 (Hanover): W. Graaff- Reinet (-CC), Bayer 2380 (NBG).  3224 (Graaff-Reinet): W. Graaff-Reinet (-BA), Smuts (NBG); Graaff-Reinet (-BA), Bolus 158 (BOL, K), Stayner in KG 232/62, (NBG), Ryder in NBG3152/34 (NBG); Bayer 2022, 2072 (NBG); Adendorp (-BC), Stayner in KG284/62 (NBG); Lootskloof (-DD), Bayer 2071 (NBG).  3225 (Somerset East): NE. Ashbourne (-AC), Bayer & Bruyns 6566 (NBG); NE. Pearston (-CA); Bayer 173 (NBG).  3323 (Willowmore): NE. Fullarton (-BB), Bayer 4160 (NBG); Eensaam (-BB), Marx 56 (NBG).

b.  var. blackbeardiana (V.Poelln.) Bayer
Bayer :103(1976). Bayer :31(1982):  H. blackbeardiana V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 31:82(1932).  Type: Cape, Bowes Farm near Queenstown, Miss G. Blackbeard.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): ex cult. V.Poelln. 1932 (B):  H. blackbeardiana var. major V.Poelln. 41:196(1937).  Type: Cape, Halesowen, Cradock, R. James in Parks 1483/36. Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3225 (Somerset East): beyond Halesowen station (-BA), Smith 2301 (NBG):  H. inermis idem. 31:85(1932):  H. altilinea var. inermis idem. 41:194(1937).  H. altilinea var. limpida fa inermis idem. 49:29(1940).  Type: Cape, Halesowen, Cradock (-BA), Stell. Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3225(Cradock): Halesowen (-BA), Smith 2289 (NBG):  H. batteniae Scott, Cact.Succ.J(U.S.). 51:268(1979).  Type: CAPE-3225(Cradock):, 35km west of Cradock (-AA), C.L. Scott 5272 (PRE):  H. cooperi Bak. pp. Scott ibid 53:70(1981) as to Cradock and Thomas River.  Scott :104(1985):  H. mucronata Haw. pp. Scott ibid. :80(1986) as to Cradock specimen.

blackbeardiana: in honour of Miss G. Blackbeard.

This variety is generally larger than the typical form and the spination is sparser.  However it is more densely spined than is H. cooperi, and the spines are longer, exceeding 2mm.  The definition is otherwise geographic and the interface with H. cooperi is from south of Cathcart in a southwesterly direction to at least Jansenville.  In the general Rippon Station area there are two adjacent populations, one of which is attributable to this species and the other to H. cooperi.  The Patryshoogte/Baviaanskranz collection is also this species growing in the same general area of H. cooperi var. dielsiana.  The interpretation in this work of H. pringlei Scott as a variety of H. decipiens may be erroneous as it may perhaps be better placed with var. blackbeardiana.  This is also suggested by the Patryshoogte specimens.

There are forms of var. blackbeardiana from the Queenstown area which have very few or sparse short spines, and similarly on the Hogsback mountain.  It has been reported that var. blackbeardiana has been collected in the southern Orange Free State and that its distribution extends considerably westward from Middelburg.  I have no confirmation of this.  There are also reports that it intergrades with H. semiviva in the far west of its range, and the sparse herbarium record suggests that this may be true.

3023 (Britstown): Die Puts (DD), Fuller 193 (BOL).  3024 (Philipstown): Hanover to De Aar (-CD), Stayner in KG307/70 (NBG); 3026 (Aliwal North): Elandshoek (-DA), Smith 6828 (NBG); SE. Aliwal North (-DD), Smith 7471 (NBG).  3123 (Richmond): Richmond (-AC), Stayner in KG591/69 (NBG); Richmond (-BD), Wohlman in KG581/69 (NBG).  3124 (Hanover): Cypherwater (-AD), Bruyns 3010 (NBG); Bethesda Road to Goliadskraal (-BA), Smith 3640 (NBG).  3125(Steynsberg): Thebus (-BC), Smith 3635 (NBG); 8km E. Steynberg (-BD), Smith 3634 (NBG); Tafelberg (-CA), Smith 3828 (NBG), Stayner in KG693/71 (NBG).  3126 (Queenstown): Bowes’ farm (-DD), Britten 160 (BOL), Bayer in KG 312/70 (NBG); Finchams Nek (-DD), Smith 7212 (NBG); Nonesses Nek (-DD), Smith 7216, 7217 (NBG); Longhill (-DD), Bursey in KG393/70 (NBG).  3127 (Molteno): Cofimvaba (-CD), Bruyns 4385 (BOL).  3224 (Graaff Reinet): Kendrew (-DA), Rossouw 183 (NBG).  3225 (Somerset East): 35km west of Cradock (-AA), C.L. Scott 5272 (PRE); Doornberg (-AA), Herre STE6632 (BOL); Denmark (-AB), Bruyns 1769 (NBG); Post Chalmers (-AB), Smith 7444 (NBG); 24km SE. Fish River Stn. (-BA), Smith 5791 (NBG); beyond Halesowen station (-BA), Smith 2301 (NBG); Halesowen (-BA), Smith 2289, 2301, 5340 (NBG), Herre STE6668 (BOL); Cradock (-BA), Smith 2263, 2289 (NBG), Britten (BOL); Swagershoek Pass (-BC), James 474 (BOL), Fourcade 40 (NBG), Bruyns 1627 (NBG); Daggaboer (-BC), James (BOL); Baviaanskranz, Patryshoogte (-DB), Bayer & Bruyns 6561 (NBG); NW. Rippon Stn. (-DD), Bayer & Bruyns 6556 (NBG).  3226 (Fort Beaufort): Huntley Glen (-AC), Smith 7493 (NBG); Austrey (-AD), Branch 370 (NBG); Katberg (-BC), Luckhoff in NBG407/34 (NBG); Waterdown Dam (-BD), Bayer & Bruyns 6569 (NBG); S. Estrelle (-BD), Bayer & Bruyns 6570 (NBG); Hogsback (-DB), Smith 375 (NBG).  3227 (Kingwilliamstown): Imvani (-AA), Bayer in KG311/70 (NBG); 24km N. Cathcart (-AA), Smith 3633 (NBG); N. Waku (-AA), Smith 5718 (NBG); 2km N Goshen (-AA), Branch 20 (NBG); Turnstream (-AB), Bayer & Bruyns 6571 (NBG); New Haven (-AB), Branch 18 (NBG); W. Cathcart (-AC), Smith 5744 (NBG); 16km W. Cathcart (-AC), Smith 38, 358 (NBG); SW. Cathcart (-AC), Barker 3427 (NBG), Bayer in KG310/70, KG393/70 (NBG); Inverbolo (-BC), Bruyns (NBG).

Inadequately located: Winterberg, Tarkastad, Armstrong (BOL); Queenstown, Ingram 1509 (BOL), Galpin 263 (BOL), Dyer 8 (BOL).

Haworthia Revisited – 7. Haworthia chloracantha

7. Haworthia chloracantha Haw., Revis. :57(1821).  Bayer :106(1976).  Bayer :32(1982).  Scott :52(1985).  Aloe chlorocantha Roem. et Schultes, Syst.Veg. 7:641(1929).  Salm-Dyck, Monogr. 13:f1(1836).  Type: Not preserved.  Neotype: icon, 13:f1 Salm-Dyck, Monogr.  Epitype (ex B&M, designated here): N. of Herbertsdale, Bayer in KG411/75 (NBG).

chloracantha: green-thorned.

Rosette from 25-40mm φ, proliferous.  Leaves: erect spreading, firm to slightly scabrid, triangular in cross-section, spines on margins and keel.  Inflorescence simple raceme, lax.  Flowers small.

1982 – H. chloracantha is a fairly localised species occurring in the Herbertsdale, Mossel Bay and Great Brak area.  It occurs as three main varieties.  Firstly the variety chloracantha from north and west of Herbertsdale which is a relatively robust light green form.  The var. denticulifera is a smaller, usually purplish-green form found in and around Mossel Bay, while var. subglauca is a more robust waxygreen form from the granitic soils at Great Brak.  Von Poellnitz, particularly, confused this species with H. angustifolia but it is slightly more scabrid and the marginal teeth are larger and wider apart.  Although more robust, the var. subglauca may reach up to 60-70 mm tall with leaves up to 10 mm broad at their widest.  The var. denticulifera may be as small as 30 mm tall with leaves less than 3 mm broad at their widest.  The relationship between H. chloracantha and H. floribunda to the west is obscure.  The Gouritz River valley effectively divides the two species but there are dubious populations north and south-east of Albertina which may suggest a relationship between these two species (see H. floribunda).  However, it is unlikely that either H. floribunda, H. divergens or H. variegata will be confused with H. chloracantha.

1999 – This species was related to H. angustifolia even prior to the recognition of H. monticola ( H. divergens Bayer, 1982).  H. chloracantha is more probably more directly related to H. floribunda and H. variegata, but it is also possible that the relationship of the varieties given here is incorrect and that the typical variety has weaker links with the southern Cape than the other two varieties.  The new H. monticola var. asema from Calitzdorp, as well as the discovery of H. outeniquensis, also need to be taken into consideration.

It appears that the dark-green erect plants from southeast and east of Albertinia (Cooper Siding) should be regarded as H. chloracantha and not as H. floribunda.  The population at Draaihoek to the north, includes plants which resemble H. parksiana and it may best be related to H. floribunda.  Plants with erect leaves growing with H. parksiana at Groot Brak have been regarded as H. floribunda and it is more probable that they are in fact also H. chloracantha.  It seems improbable that three similar species, in which the affinities with one another are in question, can co-occur.


a. var.chloracantha.
The typical variety is taken to be the very proliferous green forms around Herbertsdale and along the Gouritz River as it passes through the Langeberg mountains.  While Breuer and Metzing do not use the Salm Dyck illustration to typify this name, that illustration and the icon in Bergers revision in Fas Pflanzenreich, are really the main sources for the application of the name.

3321 (Ladismith): Gouritz Gorge (-DC), Burgers 2317 (NBG) N. Herbertsdale (-DD), Bayer 411/75 (NBG).  3421 (Riversdale): Herbertsdale (-BB), Smith 5053, 5156 (NBG).

b. var. denticulifera (V.Poelln.) Bayer
:112(1976).  Bayer :32(1982).  H. angustifolia var. denticulifera V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:194(1937), ibid. 44:228(1938).  Type: Cape, Montagu, Mrs Helm. Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon (B).:  H. angustifolia var. lilliputana Uitew. Sukkulenta 43(1953).  Type:  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3422 (Mossel Bay): Hill above Mossel Bay (-AA), Courtenay-Latimer in Smith 5223 (NBG).

denticulifera: bearing small teeth.

This variety is dark-green and occurs around Little Brak and Mossel Bay.  It also occurs along the lower Gouritz Valley where it has been previously assigned to H. floribunda.  Von Poelnitz (1938) cited a number of improbable localities for this element as a variety of H. angustifolia.  These included Montagu, Calitzdorp, Riversdale and Great Brak.  It is generally concluded that the plants originated from the greater Great Brak area.  Uitewaal’s smaller plants – var. lilliputana – are comparable with the population which occurs within the town of Mossel Bay itself.  The specimen cited from the Duiwenhoeks causeway is also one with erect pointed leaves which draws the relation with H. floribunda into the discussion.

3420 (Bredasdorp): Duiwenhoks Causeway (-BD), Muller-Doblies 82/098 (NBG).  3421 (Riversdale): Cooper Siding (-BB), Bayer 3586 (NBG); 3km N Gouritzmond (-BD), Smith 7519 (NBG), Bayer 3586 (NBG).  3422 (Mossel Bay): 2km N. Mossel Bay (-AA), Smith 2896 (NBG); 1km N. Mossel Bay (-AA), Smith 3958 (NBG); Mossel Bay (-AA), Smith 5223, 5750 (NBG); Little Brak (-AA), Smith 5751 (NBG); Great Brak (-AA), Bouwer (NBG).

Inadequately located: ex hort. Armstrong in Smith 2830 (NBG).

c. var. subglauca V.Poelln.,
Kakteenkunde 9:135(1937).  Bayer :106(1976).  Bayer:32(1982).  Type: Cape, Great Brak, Mrs Helm.  Not preserved.  Neotype (B&M): Great Brak, Hurling & Neil (BOL).

subglauca: nearly glaucous.

As stated above, this variety differs in coloration from the other two varieties and in the larger sparser spines.  There is a specimen cited rather vaguely as from near Zebra which could perhaps be H. outeniquensis.

3422 (Mossel Bay): Great Brak (-AA), Fourcade 18 (NBG), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Ferguson 1 (BOL), Smith 2889 (NBG); E. Great Brak (-AA), Smith 2885, 3957 (NBG); Bayer in KG(98/71 (NBG); George (-AA), Malherbe in NBG304/40 (NBG), Fourcade in NBG2617/34 (NBG).

Inadequately located: ex hort, Pillans (BOL). Heyn’s farm near Zebra, van der Bijl 474 (BOL).

Haworthia Revisited – 8. Haworthia cooperi

8. Haworthia cooperi Baker, Saund.Ref.Bot. 4:t.233(1871).  Bayer :109(1976).  Bayer :33(1982).  pp. Scott :103(1985) as to Adelaide.  H. arachnoidea (Haw.) Duv. sensu Pole-Evans, Flow.Pl.S.Afr. 7:t.248(1927).  Type (B&M): Cape, Cooper (K):  H. vittata Baker, loc.cit. :t.263.  Type: Not preserved.  Lectotype: icon t.234, Saund.Ref.Bot. cooperi: for Thomas Cooper.

Rosette to 120mm φ, often proliferous, stemless. Leaves 20-40, fleshy, swollen, oblong-lanceolate, quickly tapering, acuminate or truncating, marginal spines <2mm long if present.  Bluish-green in colour, slightly translucent, with veins usually reddening and leaves developing purplish hues in exposed situations.  Inflorescence compact, firm peduncle with many closely arranged flowers, to 20cm long.  Flowers 20-30, perianth white.

1982 – This species is beautifully illustrated in Refugium Botanicum and two other species, H. pilifera and H. vittata, were also described and illustrated here.  The name H. pilifera has been most commonly used for plants with relatively blunt leaves which occur in the Eastern Cape particularly around King Williamstown.  The name H. vittata was similarly applied to the longer-leaved forms in the Thomas River and Cathcart areas which probably intergrade with H. bolusii.  However, the name H. cooperi can equally be applied and has page preference over the other two names.  H. cooperi is very common widespread and variable as the synonymy suggests.  It is logical to suppose that in this case Haworth must have received specimens at some time or another.  Uitewaal attempted to apply the name H. obtusa Haw. which has since been refuted by Bayer and Pilbeam (1974).  Scott similarly implemented H. altilinea Haw. but uses the name in a restricted sense to exclude all three of Baker’s names, as well as names such as H. limpida and H. mucronata.  The writer’s contention is that the name H. altilinea is a source of confusion and should for the present at least, be rejected. There are thus the four species with translucent bluish-, or greyish-green leaves as indicated in the key.  H. cooperi is distinguished by its generally less hairy or shortly haired leaves.  The leaves are obtuse to obtuse-ovate although forms with longer, more acuminate leaves also occur.  These usually have thicker leaves than corresponding forms in H. bolusii and the leaves are also less hairy.  Scott comments on the withdrawal of plants into the ground, and the question of exposure and soil substrate are responsible for much of the variability in the species.  In ‘stayneri’ collected at Bethelsdorp near Port Elizabeth, and in several other populations, the leaf veins actually become necrotic and the leaf-ends truncated.  In ‘gordoniana’ from Hankey this does not occur.

H. cooperi is a species of the dry grassveld areas of the Eastern Cape and occurs in the high-lying sourveld of the Zuurberg to the dry Valley Bushveld of the Fish River.  Size varies enormously from small glabrous plants less than 40 mm in diameter southwest of Grahamstown, to enormous hairy specimens over 100 mm in diameter at Keiskamma.  The variety leightonii is exceptional in that it occurs on the edges of exposed granite slabs west of East London.  This variety is very proliferous and is characterised by the persistence of reddish coloration in the leaf veins.

1999 – One of the difficulties with this species is in its relationship with H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana, and here the typical variety is applied to that intermediate element in the Thomas River area.  This does not represent the main body of the species at all, which is a product of the nomenclatural system.  Also the previous Handbooks do not present any idea of the variation in this species.  There is an additional problem in the association with H. cymbiformis.  Uitewaal really exposed the problem with his recognition of the name ‘obtusa’ of Haworth for this species.  Bayer and Pilbeam refuted this by suggesting that Uitewaal had misinterpreted Haworth’s description and the illustration associated with it.  Scott similarly refuted Uitewaal and also applied the name as a variety of H. cymbiformis.  However, he illustrated a blue-green variant which we regard as H. cooperi var. obtusata, a new name, in this work.  There is clearly a problem in finding a point of origin for ‘obtusa’ as variant of H. cymbiformis rather than of H. cooperi, and that is answered under the former species.  However, herbarium records indicate a problem in the broader Alicedale/Adelaide areas where truncation and abbreviation of the leaves of both species seems to be evident, together with the problem of green versus blue coloration.  The essential difference between the two species – which generally have the same distribution range and very often co-occur – is that H. cooperi is an open ground species, whereas H. cymbiformis occurs on rocky shelves and cliffs. It is interesting that even a variety like leightonii has a tendency to resemble H. cymbiformis, by acquiring an opaque yellowish-green coloration as opposed to the required blue-green for the species cooperi.  This is a common problem in trying to absolutely circumscribe the species.  But even outside of that, there has been a massive problem in the plethora of names attached to either species.  Both extend into the mountains north and west of Port Elizabeth and it is not clear just how this relates to other species which do the same.  The following varieties are recognised.


a. var. cooperi.
The typical variety occurs in the Thomas River area and is along the transition zone to H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana.  The distinction is that the leaves are slightly more acuminate and the venation tends to acquire reddish tints, while general coloration tends to a purplish hue.  The leaf spines are also generally less than 2mm long.

3225 (Somerset East): 30km S. Cradock (-BD), Smith 5194 (NBG); Bruintjieshoogte (-CB), Britten in PRE 34923, Bayer 2024 (NBG); 11km S. Somerset East (-DC), Smith 2841 (NBG).  3226 (Fort Beaufort): Bobbejaanrivier, Bedford (-CA), Smith 2244 (NBG); Koonap Bridge (-CD), Bayer & Bruyns 6563 (NBG); Elandskop, Adelaide (-CD), Smith 2687, 2797, 2799 (NBG); Adelaide (-CD), Krynauw in NBG270/43; Katberg (-DA), Herre in STE6607 (BOL), Read in BOL71291, Smith 2773 (NBG); Warfield (-DB), Venter 91/82 (NBG); Woburn (-DB), Smith 578 (NBG); Alice, Stewart Memorial (-DD), Smith 5211 (NBG).  3227 (Kingwilliamstown): Thorn River near Cathcart (-AC), Acocks 11003; W. Cathcart (-AC), Bayer in KG 392/70 (NBG); Thomas River (-AD), Smith 3631 (NBG), Scott 1720 (NBG), Stayner in KG402/61 (NBG); Tsomo (-BB), Branch 13 (NBG).

Inadequately located: ex hort. Stanford (BOL).

b. var. dielsiana (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb. nov. 
H. dielsiana V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 28:103(1930).  H. pilifera var. dielsiana idem. 49:27(1940).  H. obtusa var. dielsiana (V.Poelln.) Uitew., Succ. 29:50(1948).  Type: Cape, Sheldon, H.H. Hutton 489. Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3325(Somerset East): Sheldon (-BB), A.J. van der Merwe in Smith 1140 (NBG).  H. joeyae Scott, Bradleya 13:80(1995).  Type: CAPE-3225( Somerset East): a few kilometers NE. of Cookhouse (-BD), Scott (GRA).

dielsiana: in honour of Prof. Diels of Berlin, Dahlem.

There appear to be two elements within the species with very truncated leaf ends.  The first is this variety from the western area in which the leaves are variously truncated and obtuse. Smith records a wide range of forms with or without leaf spines and some with very rounded leaf-ends.  Sometimes the leaf-margins are almost ridge-like. The leaf-tips do not appear to become necrotic as happens in the var. pilifera. The leaf awn is virtually absent and the leaves tend to have marked venation.  The keel and margins tend to be rounded.

3225 (Somerset East): Sheldon (-BB), Smith 1140 (NBG), Hutton in Herre 489 (BOL); 5km E. Somerset East (-DA), Bayer & Bruyns 6565 (NBG); Glen Avon (-DA), Smith 5790 (NBG); Merantes Kloof (-DB), Smith 3492 (NBG); Eastpoort (-DB), Smith 3491, 3493 (NBG), Reynolds (BOL), Bayer & Bruyns 6558, 6559, 6560 (NBG); Little Fish (-DC), Smith 5550 (NBG).  3226 (Fort Beaufort): 10km N. Adelaide (-CB) Krynauw in NBG267/43, Krynauw in NBG687/41; 19km NE. Adelaide (-CB), Krynauw in NBG269/43 (NBG); Chancery Hall (-CB), Bayer & Bruyns 6564 (NBG); Kagasmond (-CC), Krynauw in NBG273/43; Paardefontein, SE. Adelaide (-CD); Brakfontein, Kroomie (-CD), Smith 5112 (NBG); Koonap (-CD), Smith 7131 (NBG); Adelaide (-CD), Smith 2687 (NBG); 30km S. Adelaide (-CD), Smith 2240 (NBG); Somerset East (-DA), Fouche in PRE 34919; Woburn; Tyumie river (-DB), Acocks 13575 (PRE); W. Fort Beaufort (-DC), Bayer & Bruyns 6592 (NBG); S. Fort Beaufort (-DC),  Bayer & Bruyns 6591 (NBG); E. Fort Beaufort (-DC), Smith 3489 (NBG); 16km N. Cradock road (-DC), Britten in PRE 34918.

Inadequately located: Ross’ Mission, Smith 7492 (NBG); Zaysdorp NBG1019/25; ex hort Whitehill (NBG), Ross-Frames (NBG), Stanford (BOL).

c. var. gordoniana (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb. nov. 
pp H. cooperi (Bak.) Bayer :119(1972).  pp. Bayer :33(1982).  H. gordoniana V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 42:269(1937).  H. pilifera var. gordoniana V.Poelln. idem. 44:237(1938).  H. obtusa var. gordoniana (V.Poelln.) Uitew., Succulenta 29:50(1948).  Type: Zuurbron, Hankey, Long 814. Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3324 (Steytlerville): Patensie (-DD), Smith 3028 (NBG).

gordoniana: in honour of Gordon King.

There are many variations of small glabrous and spined plants in the Hankey/Patensie area and it is rather problematic to decide to which species they really belong.  Von Poellnitz associated his species with H. cooperi as recognised in this work and it is thus the small blue-green element which is nearly identical to his H. stayneri.  Unlike the latter which is made synonymous with H. cooperi var. pilifera the leaf tips do not truncate on exposure to direct sun.  It differs from similar plants which are regarded as H. gracilis, in that the outer leaves stay incurved and are sparsely spined.  Also the leaves are usually more thickly turgid than in that species.  The plants are less proliferous and tend to be withdrawn into the soil.

3323 (Willowmore): Redcliffe (-BA), Bruyns 7062 (BOL); Uniondale Poort (-CA), Bayer 4404 (NBG); Damse Drif (-CA), Bruyns 1651, 1652 (NBG); Nuwekloof (-CA), Bruyns 1840 (NBG); Saptou (-CB), Bruyns 7079 (BOL); Studtjes (-DB), Bruyns 2190 (NBG).  3324 (Steytlerville): Enkeldoorn (-CB), Perry 1427 (NBG), Bean (NBG); Holgat Kloof (-CC), van Jaarsveld 6885 (NBG); Moordenaarskloof (-CD), Stayner in KG673/71 (NBG);  Grootriver Poort (-DA), Bruyns 2202 (NBG); Quagga to Cambria (-DA), Smith 2912 (NBG); Cambria (-DA), Smith 2904 (NBG); Ouplaas (-DB), Bruyns 7043 (BOL); 2km E. Hankey (-DD), Rossouw 141 (NBG); Patensie (-DD), Smith 3025 (NBG); E. Patensie (-DD), Smith 2908 (NBG); S. Hankey (-DD), Smith 3186 (NBG); Hankey (-DD), Smith 2905 (NBG); 5km N. Hankey (-DD), Bayer in KG193/73 (NBG); N. Hankey (-DD), Smith 2883, 3687 (NBG); NE. Hankey (-DD), Bayer 4474 (NBG), Stayner in KG180/71 (NBG); E. Hankey (-DD), Smith 2597, 2893, 2980 (NBG); Stayner in KG180/71 (NBG); 7km N. Zuurbron (-DD), Smith 3671 (NBG); 5km N. Zuurbron (-DD), Bayer & Bruyns 6553 (NBG); 8km N. Zuurbron (-DD), Bayer & Bruyns 6554 (NBG); N. Joubertina (-DD), Venter 91/64 (NBG).  3325DC Coega Kop(-DC), Long 1132 (PRE).  3424 (Humansdorp): Jeffrey’s Bay (-BB), Bayer & Venter 6597 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Herre STE6609 (BOL).

d. var. leightonii (Smith) Bayer
:128(1976).  Bayer :34(1982).  H. leightonii Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 16:10(1950).  Scott :107(1985).  pp. H. cooperi Bak., Scott, Cact.Succ.J(U.S.) 53:70(1981).  Type: CAPE-3327 (Peddie): Kayser’s Beach (-BA), Smith 6938 (NBG).

leightonii: for I. Leighton.

There are several populations of this variety and the circumscription is enlarged to include those from further to the northwest in which the leaves are also more lanceolate and untruncated.  It is almost certainly an ecotype associated with the granitic slabs of the coastal area near Kayser’s Beach, where the plants are very proliferous indeed.  This, and the strong purplish coloration, characterise the variety.

3327 (Peddie): Kaysers Beach (-BA), I.H. Leighton in NBG 68362, Smith 6938 (NBG), Bayer in KG6/72 (NBG), Venter 91/105 (NBG); SW. Paynes Hill (-BA), Smith 514 (NBG); Bayer 1621 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Kingwilliamstown, Taylor 3039 (NBG), Leighton in NBG662/34.

e. var. pilifera (Baker) M.B.Bayer comb.nov. 
H. pilifera Baker, Saund.Ref.Bot. 4:t.234(1871).  V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:236(1938).  Scott :104(1985).  H. obtusa var. pilifera (Baker) Uitew., Succulenta 29:50(1948).  Type: Not preserved.  Lectotype (here designated): icon, :t.234, Saund.Ref.Bot.:  H. stayneri V.Poelln. loc.cit. 42:270(1937).  H. pilifera var. stayneri idem. 44:237(1938).  H. obtusa var. stayneri (V.Poelln.) Uitew. loc.cit.  Type: 14m Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage, F.J.Stayner. Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3325 (Port Elizabeth): 13.8m Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage (-DD), F.J.Stayner in KG 2/70 (NBG):  H. stayneri var. salina V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 42:271(1937).  H. pilifera var. salina idem. 44:237(1938).  H. obtusa var. salina (V.Poelln.)Uitew. loc.cit.  Type: Cape, Bethelsdorp Salt Pan, Mrs King. Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3325 (Port Elizabeth): Bethelsdorp salt pan (-DD), Smith 5817 (NBG):  H. pilifera var. dielsiana fa acuminata V.Poelln. loc.cit. 49:27(1940).  H. obtusa var. dielsiana fa acuminata (V.Poelln.) Uitew. loc.cit.  Type: 4m from Kingwilliamstown, F.A.Fouche.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3227(Kingwilliamstown): 5km Kingwilliamstown to Pirie Dam (-CC), Smith 3913 (NBG):  H. altilinea Haw. sensu Scott, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 34:53(1979).  Scott :84(1985).

pilifera: with hairs.

This variety constitutes the main body of the species which is centred about Kingwilliamstown and Grahamstown.  It is characterised by the obtuse acuminate end-area with a pronounced point to the leaf.  The margins and keel are sharply angled.  It is very closely drawn into the soil surface and, on exposure to direct sunlight truncates to form a necrotic end-area.

3128 (Umtata): Viedgesville (-DA), Rush in KG87/80 (NBG).  3225(Somerset East): Little Fish (-DA), Smith 5551 (NBG); Cookhouse, Patryshoogte (-DD), Long 1462 (PRE).  3226 (Fort Beaufort): 24km S. Bedford (-AC), Bursey in KG335/70 (NBG); Good Hope, Alice (-DD), Smith 5496 (NBG); Fort Hare, Cressey in NBG2132/26 BOL); Alice (-DD), Smith 5210 (NBG); Middledrift (-DD), Smith 5342 (NBG).  3227 (Kingwilliamstown): Peddie (-AA), Smith 5654 (NBG); Fort Murray Bridge (-BD), Bayer (NBG); E. Kieskammahoek (-CA), Smith 6065 (NBG); Kieskammahoek (-CA), Smith 5309, 7350 (NBG); Stayner (NBG); 5km Kingwilliamstown to Pirie Dam (-CC), Smith 3110, 3913 (NBG): (-CC), Dyer 2079 (PRE); Golf course (-CD), Scott 1980 (PRE), Crampton in NBG1096/28 (NBG), Taylor in NBG250/34 (NBG); Line Drift (-CD), Smith 5434 (NBG); Balazi (-CD), Smith 3574 (NBG); St Johns Drift (-DA), Bayer 1623 (NBG); Near Komgha (-DB), Flanagan 1116 (BOL, PRE); Brigadoon (-DC), Bayer 4460 (NBG); Buffalo River (-DC), Smith in NBG343/35 (NBG); Bridal Drift (-DC), Smith 386 (NBG); Cambridge (-DD), Grenfell in NBG872/35.  3325 (Port Elizabeth): Cookhouse to Zuurberg (-BA), Smith 3494 (NBG); Shenfield (-BB), Blackburn in BOL71305; Kommadagga (-BB), Bruyns 1651 (NBG); 18km N. Zuurberg Inn (-BC), Stayner in PRE 57676; Enon (-BC), Dyer 498a (PRE); Zuurberg (-BC), Stayner in KG685/71 (NBG); Addo Park (-BD), Branch 31 (NBG); Bauerskraal (-CB), Bayer & Venter 6559 (NBG); Despatch (-CD), Muir 13133 (PRE). 1km W. Uitenhage (-CD), Smith 5818 (NBG), Britten (BOL); 22km Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage (-DC), F.J.Stayner in KG 2/70 (NBG); E. Uitenhage (-DC), Smith 3582 (NBG); Bethelsdorp salt pan (-DC), Smith 5817 (NBG), Stayner in KG2/70; Redhouse (-DC), Paterson 431 (BOL).  3326(Grahamstown): E. Riebeek East (-AA), Smith 5219 (NBG); Willowfountain (-AA), Bayer 1622 (NBG); Blaauwkrantz (-AC), Dyer 2306 (PRE); NW. Salem (-AD), Bayer 4450 (NBG); 8km N. Grahamstown (-AD), Smith 5628 (NBG), Britten in BOL71290;  The Fort (-BA), Smith 5065 (NBG); Keiskamma near Breakfast Vlei (-BB), Acocks 11871 (PRE); Debe Nek (-BB), Smith 3545 (NBG); N. Committees (-BB), Smith 5435 (NBG); E. Committees (-BB), Smith 5430 (NBG); Committees (-BB), Smith 2428, 5352, 5353, 5366 (NBG), 16km N. Cradock road (-BC), Marloth 12607 (PRE); Grahamstown (-BC), Whitmore in NBG1238/24 (NBG), Erens in PRE 34929; Bothas Hill (-BC), Smith 5355 (NBG);  Frazers Camp (-BD), Smith 5215, 7413 (NBG); Peninsula (-DA), Bayer in KG383/70 (NBG); Brigadoon (-DC), Bayer in KG382/70 (NBG).  3327(East London): S. Kingwilliamstown (-AB), Krynauw in NBG684/41 (NBG); E. Chalumna (-BA), Smith 5773 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Cape ex hort, Marloth 5861 (PRE); Grahamstown, Dyer 1 (BOL), Britten in BOL71289; Leighton in NBG662/34, in BOL71301 (BOL); Kingwilliamstown, Sim 1030 (BOL), Herre in STE6619 (BOL); Mquakwebe, Leighton in BOL20734-6, in Smith 6938 (BOL).

e. var. truncata (Jacobs.) M.B.Bayer comb. nov. 
H,. obtusa var. truncata Jacobs., Nat. Catt. Succ. J. 10: 81 (1955). Type: Not preserved. Neotype: (B&M in ms.): icon in Jacobsen, Handbuch der Sukk. Pfl. 724, f644 (1956). Epitype: CAPE-3227 (Stutterheim): Runlets, Mgwali (-DA), Smith 5295 (NBG).

truncata: with obtuse leaves.

Rosette proliferous, to 70mm φ, Leaves 20-25, 20-25 x 8mm wide, pale blue-green, erect, truncated, translucent and lightly veined above.  (A var. cooperi foliis parvioribus truncatis differt).

I am grateful to I. Breuer for drawing attention to the possible correct application of this name. The important arbiter would actually be colour, which Jacobsen does not stipulate.  However, Breier suggests the plants from the Bolo Reserve distributed under I.S.I. No. 1762 represent Jacobsen’s variety; otherwise I would have incorporated it with H. cymbiformis var. obtusa. This is a smaller variety than the western var. dielsiana with similarly truncated leaves, and the distinction is largely on geographical grounds.  Other differences are the smaller size, the rapid off-setting, and the almost unlined leaves of the var. truncata as opposed to var. dielsiana.   The var. truncata is at the northeast of the distribution range of the species where it extends into the Transkei.  Both Bayer and Pilbeam, and Scott have attempted to refute Uitewaal’s interpretation of H. obtusa Haw. as an earlier synonym for H. cooperi.  This is a case in which the option is entirely an open one.  How and why Uitewaal chose to depart from the general application of the name seems to be the norm for Haworthia.

3227 (Kingwilliamstown): Hunts Drift (-AC), Smith 5175 (NBG); Inerbolo (-BC), Bruyns (NBG); Mgwali (-BC), Smith 5193 (NBG); Runlets, Mgwali (-DA), Smith 5295 (NBG).

g. var. venusta (Scott) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. venusta Scott, Bradleya 14:87(1996).  Type: CAPE-3226 (Grahamstown): NE. Alexandria (-DA), Britten 781 (GRA).

venusta: charming, and for Miss Grace Britten. Her excellent herbarium sheet led to the recent rediscovery by Gerhard Marx.

This very handsome variety is, surprisingly, coarse white-haired, exaggerating the slightly hairy tendency foundin the other varieties. It offsets sparsely if at all, and remains quite small.

3326 (Grahamstown): NE. Alexandria (-DA), Britten 781 (GHS, NBG), Britten and Archibald 781 (BOL, PRE).

Haworthia Revisited – 9. Haworthia cymbiformis

9. Haworthia cymbiformis (Haw.) Duv., Pl.Succ.Hort.Alenc. :7(1809).  Bayer :110(1976).  Bayer :35(1982).  Scott :91(1985).  H. concava Haw. Revis. :58(1821).  Aloe cymbiformis Haw., Trans.Linn.Soc. 7:8(1804).  Sims, Bot.Mag. 1:21,t.802(1805).  Salm-Dyck, Monogr. 11:t.1(1840). Type: Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): icon, t.802, Bot.Mag..  Epitype (ex B&M): Walmer, Port Elizabeth, Smith 2844 (NBG):  H. planifolia Haw., Phil.Mag. 44:282(1825).  H. cymbiformis var. planifolia (Haw.) Baker JLinn.Soc. 18:209(1880).  Aloe planifolia (Haw.) Salm-Dyck, Monogr. 11:t.2(1840).  Type: icon. t2, Salm-Dyck, Monogr. 1840:  H. cymbiformis var. angustata V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 45:166(1938).  Type:  Discovery region unknown, T.Foster.  Not preserved:  H. cymbiformis var. angustata fa subarmata idem. 45:166(1938).  Type: Rocklands, Adelaide, W.E.Armstrong in Triebn. 1187.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3226 (Fort Beaufort): Rocklands, W.E.Armstrong in Smith 2801 (NBG):  H. cymbiformis var. compacta Triebn. idem. Type: Cape, west of Peddie, Mrs G. McLaren in Triebn. 1148.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3327 (Peddie): W Woolridge, Peddie (-AB), Bayer 4648 (NBG).  H. planifolia var. exulata V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 43:93(1938).  idem. 45:162(1938).  Type: Cape, Ubi?, C.H.Woolley in Long 392.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): Photogr. H.G.Fourcade of Long 392 (NBG):  H. planifolia var. planifolia fa agavoides Triebn. et V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 45:162(1938).  Type: Cape, Fort Beaufort, W.E.Armstrong in Triebn. 1169.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3226 (Fort Beaufort): Sulphur Baths (-DC), Bayer 4655 (NBG):  et fa alta ibid. Type: Cape, Grahamstown, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 851.  Not preserved:  et fa olivacea ibid.  Type: Cape, Quagga West, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 853.  Not preserved:  et fa robusta ibid.  Type: Cape, Baakens Valley, Mrs I.King 100 in Triebn. 1066.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3325(Port Elizabeth): Baakens Valley (-DC), Smith 3894 (NBG):  et var. incrassata V.Poell. idem. 45:163(1938).  Type: Cape, Kowie River, Mrs Archibald 335 in Long 446.  Not preserved:  et var. sublaevis V.Poelln., Kakteenk. 6:67(1938).  idem., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 45:163(1938).  Type: Albany district, Mrs Britten in Triebn. 940.  Not preserved:  et var. longifolia Triebn. et V.Poelln. idem.  Type: Cape, Grahamstown, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 864.  Not preserved:  et var. longifolia fa calochlora ibid.  Type: Cape, Port Elizabeth, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 941.  Not preserved:  H. planifolia var. poellnitziana Res. ibid. 48:133(1940).  Type: ex Hort., Hamburg.  Not preserved:  H. lepida Smith JS.Afr.Bot. 10:21(1944).  Type: Cape, Albany district, between Carlisle Bridge and Fort Brown, Smith 5066 (NBG).

cymbiformis: boat-shaped.

Rosette to 130mm φ, partially stemmed, proliferous.  Leaves broad ovate to lanceolate, flat to slightly concave, generally <1/3 as thick as wide, usually opaque, green turning yellowish to pink hued on exposure.  Inflorescence to 250mm, 10-15 flowers, lax.  Flowers white.

1982 – This name has been used interchangeably with H. planifolia for a very widespread and variable species growing in the Eastern Cape.  This species has practically the same distribution range as H. cooperi but unlike that species is an opaque, truer green colour.  It forms dense mats with a fairly superficial root system and grows on rocky slopes and krantzes along rivers and streams.  H. planifolia Haw. was only described in 1825 and was stated to be less proliferous and with distinctly flatter leaves.  Baker placed the two species together and a study of Von Poellnitz’s and Smith’s records plainly show that neither could clearly distinguish these two species.  Von Poellnitz in fact described H. planifolia var. transiens and H. cymbiformis var. translucens from the same locality, and even stated that he did not know how to clearly separate the two species.  Von Poellnitz in Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. 41:199(1937) records H. cymbiformis from Graaff Reinett (Triebner 861) but in 1938 (ibid. 45:163) describes H. planifolia var. incrassata from the same collection.  Berger, in a masterly piece of irrationality, justified separate sections for the two species.  Smith transferred H. incurvula V.Poelln. from the section Muticae to the section Obtusatae, on the basis of observed continuity with H. cymbiformis.  In Flowering Plants of Southern Africa (pl. 356, 1929) a plant identical to H. incurvula is illustrated under the name H. cymbiformis var. planifolia (Haw.) Baker.  It can only be concluded that one name be retained for the entire complex and this is H. cymbiformis.

Uitewaal (1948) put forward the view that H. obtusa was not related to H. cymbiformis at all, but that is was an earlier name for H. pilifera (here a synonym of H. cooperi).  He based his observation on a colour plate in the Kew herbarium, and goes as far as to say that Haworth’s original description is faulty.  The strongest argument in favour of Uitewaal’s contention is the historical one.  None of Haworth’s species can be referred to Baker’s H. cooperi and this is hard to concede knowing how widespread and variable that species is.  The name H. obtusa is here considered to be probably synonymous with H. cymbiformis and should probably be rejected as superfluous and as a source of confusion.  The distribution range extends from the Bashee River in Transkei, to Prince Alfred’s Pass in the west, and northwards to Fort Beaufort.  Variation within individual populations is small but no two populations are quite the same.  Thus there is scope for a good many more varieties than previously recognised.  However, to stay within manageable limits, only the one really different form viz. fa ramosa with the elongated stem, and varieties not limited to single populations, are upheld.  The var. incurvula is apparently restricted to Plutosvale which is a contradiction, but, because Smith discusses continuity with H. cymbiformis (atypical for Smith and not borne out by his field records), because of the possibility of a relationship with H. translucens subsp. tenera, and because of similar forms occurring in the Humansdorp area, it is maintained.  The var. transiens is really only more translucent, and at the type locality also larger, than incurvula, otherwise they may have been considered synonymous.  The var. umbraticola is a distinctive variety from the Swartwaterpoort west of Alicedale and northeastwards to Fort Beaufort. The leaves are very obtuse and round in cross‑section.  The fenestrate blunt tips with shining pellucid areas separated by dark green lines, make it a most attractive variety.  H. cymbiformis occurs primarily in the summer rainfall area and is very easy to grow in cultivation.  It proliferates to an rapidly and should be exposed to at least some direct sunlight to prevent bloating and excessive softening of the plants.  This species is also particularly prone to losing its roots with overwatering so it is also essentially a winter‑growing species which likes at least some resting period during the summer.

1999 – Sims in 1805 commented on the name H. cymbiformis, saying ‘Its name (with too much latitude by the way) is taken from its leaves’, which prompted Haworth to change the name to H. concava.  Von Poellnitz repeatedly exclaimed at the poor coloration of these plants in Europe as opposed to the colours which the plants develop under good light, when they are indeed very attractive.  The two illustrations in Salm Dyck’s Monograph of Aloe cymbiformis and Aloe planifolia are really very similar in relation to the variation within this one species.  One would think thus that a more sensible and conservative approach to species would have been achieved a great deal earlier than it has.  It is not obvious to which species H. cymbiformis is most closely allied, but it does seem to be closely associated with H. cooperi.  Bayer and Pilbeam may have been in error in their treatment of Uitewaal’s re-appraisal of H. obtusa Haw. as it is not easy to find the obvious field counterpart.  The solution suggested below may not be the most appropriate.  Col Scott also regarded obtusa as a variety of H. cymbiformis but unfortunately seems to have illustrated the H. cooperi variant.  A population on the Kat River near Fort Beaufort sampled by Scott, supports his argument and the decision taken here.  The explanation regarding the var. incurvula in the 1982 Handbook is poorly constructed.  What was meant, was the recognition of the variety despite its limited distribution, because of the evidence claimed by G.G. Smith, and because of its possible transitional nature towards H. gracilis.  H. lepida is regarded as a variant of H. cymbiformis because it could not be re-located despite a detailed description of the one locality where it was recorded.  A collection further to the east does not appear to differ dramatically from an already wide range of forms.

Breuer and Metzing nominate a specimen as a neotype when the early illustrations are excellent and are really the basis for the correct and historical application of the name. Haworth cited and accepted the illustrations in Botanical Magazine as well.


a. var. cymbiformis.
The typical species is considered to comprise the main body of the species which occurs from Port Elizabeth, eastwards to East London and inland to Adelaide and Committees on the Fish River.  Plants in this area tend to have broad, flat smooth leaves without spines.

Distribution: 3226 (Fort Beaufort): Near Alice (-DB), Smith 5635 (NBG); Kat River, W. Alice (-DB), Smith 105 (NBG); 13km S. Fort Beaufort (-DC), Smith 5617, 5617a (NBG); Rocklands (-DC), W.E.Armstrong in Smith 2801 (NBG); Sulphur Baths (-DC), Smith 2795, 3826, 7371 (NBG), Bayer 4655 (NBG); W. Sulphur Baths (-DC), Bayer & Bruyns 6593 (NBG).  3227 (Kingwilliamstown): Debe Nek (-CC), Britten in PRE 39472; Fort Murray Bridge (-CD), Smith 3111, 3317, 3576 (NBG); Bridal Drift (-DC), Smith 2806 (NBG); Umdanzini (-DD), Smith 5336, 5337 (NBG).  3325 (Port Elizabeth): Kranspoort, W. Patterson (-BC), Bayer 4549 (NBG); Slagboom Dam (-BC), Branch 37 (NBG); Below old Fort (-DC), Smith 5040 (NBG); Walmer (-DC), Smith 2790, 2844 (NBG); Baakens Valley (-DC), Smith 3894 (NBG), Paterson 155 (BOL).  3326 (Grahamstown): Fish River valley (-AA), Dyer 4549 (PRE); Carlisle Bridge (-AA), Smith 5567, 5597 (NBG); Cloudlands (-AB), Britten in BOL71308; Howiesonspoort (-AD), Smith 105a, 439, 909, 2843b, 5302, 5305 (NBG); The Fort (-BA), Courtenay-Latimer in Smith 5066 (BOL, PRE), Smith 5066 (NBG, PRE); Between Carlisle Bridge and Fort Brown (-BA), Smith 5066 (NBG); E. Fort Brown (-BA), Bayer 1620 (NBG); Ballinafad (-BB), Smith 3365, 5404a, 5405a (NBG), Bayer 4652 (NBG); Horseshoe (-BB), Smith 2765, 3124, 5311, 5312 (NBG); Committees (-BB), Compton 17834 (NBG), Smith 5071, 5404 (NBG); 3km W. Committees (-BB), Smith 3382 (NBG); S. Committees (-BB), Smith in NBG322/40; Giffords Bush (-BB), Smith 1997 (NBG); 30km E. Peddie (-BB), Smith 3515 (NBG); Grahamstown (-BC), Britten 218 (PRE); Grahamstown (-BC), Britten in PRE 34903; Grahamstown (-BC), Britten in PRE 39480; Grahamstown (-BC), Curator PRE Bot. Garden in PRE 26300; 24km S. Grahamstown (-BC); Stayner in KG254/70; Blaaukranz (-BC), Smith 5544 (NBG); Fernkloof (-BC), Smith 5629 (NBG); Mt. Drive (-BC), Britten (NBG), Dyer 6 (BOL); Kowie (-BC), Dyer 7 (BOL); Kariega (-DA), Branch 43 (NBG); Bussock Farm (-DA), Smith 768 (NBG).  3327 (East London): Peddie (-AA), Smith 3112 (NBG); Paradise, Wooldridge (-AA), Smith 2800, 5602, 5671 (NBG); Gqora (-AA), Smith 5777 (NBG); W Woolridge, Peddie (-AB), Smith 3113, 3115 (NBG), Bayer 4648 (NBG); Kapp-Fish confluence (-AC), Bayer 4654 (NBG); Kaffirdrift (-AC), Smith 655, 5255, 5261, 5262, 5263, 5274 (NBG); E. Fish River (-AC), Smith 5256 (NBG); Wesley to Falloden (-AD), Smith 3157 (NBG); Chalumna (-BB), Smith 571, 2786, 3089, 3391, 3392, 5131, 5313, 5400, 6199 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Cape, Marloth 6284 (PRE), Long in Smith 3892 (NBG), Smith 398, 2804, 3112 (NBG), Stellenbosch 3889, 5560; ex hort, Ross-Frames in NBG76/48; Zaysdorp, NBG101825, Warden (BOL); ex hort, Whitehill (NBG); Albany, Dyer in NBG1806/30, Britten in NBG 734/31, Luyt in NBG309/45.

b. var. incurvula (V.Poelln.) Bayer
:124(1976).  Bayer :36(1982).  Scott :94(1985).  H. incurvula V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 31:85(1932).  H. cymbiformis var. planifolia Flow.Pl.S.Afr. 9:t356(1929).  Type: Grahamstown, Plutosvale, Mrs E. Ferguson.  Not preserved.  Neotype (B&M): Plutosvale, Britten (BOL71307).

incurvula: curved inwards.

As stated above, there is not very much substance to this variety either.  It is smaller than the norm and relatively narrow-leaved.  It has been collected many times from the same locality.  The flower is very similar to that of H. gracilis var. minima, but Smith nevertheless maintained that it is continuous with H. cymbiformis.  What he said was this “At the type locality near the top of the slope of a very deep valley, this plant is hardly variable, but as one descends, the plant changes, and at a point in the valley about a mile from the type locality, they are in appearance approaching H. cymbiformis.” The correct way to establish this is with physical evidence, and this is absent.

Distribution: 3326 (Grahamstown): Fish River Ridge (-AB), Britten in PRE 34959; Plutosvale (‑BA), Smith in NBG340/35 (BOL), Smith 5402 (NBG), Britten 11 (BOL), Britten in PRE 34909, in PRE 39477, Long 1029 (PRE), Dyer 3 (BOL), Dyer 2082 (PRE), Fourcade 99 (NBG), Smith 915 (NBG); Road to Plutosvale (-BA), Reynolds 2948 (PRE); 16km from Grahamstown (-BA), Erens in PRE 34910; S. Plutosvale (-BA), Smith 5402, 5403 (NBG); S. Hunts Drift (-BB), Smith 5741, 6508 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Albany, Dyer in NBG1803/30 (NBG), Smith 1123 (NBG), Luckhoff in NBG 404/34, Smith in NBG340/35, Britten in NBG740/31 (BOL); ex hort, NBG705/30, NBG1110/36, Luyt in NBG302/45, in NBG306/45, Whitehill (NBG).

c. var. obtusa (Haw.) Baker
JLinn.Soc. 18:209(1880).  Bayer and Pilbeam, Cact.Succ.J(U.S.)46:166(1974).  Scott idem. 48:260(1976).  Scott :93(1985).  H. obtusa Haw., Phil.Mag. 46:282(1825).  Type: Cape ex hort Kew.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): Icon Kew library:  H. umbraticola V.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 9:134(1937).  H. cymbiformis  var. umbraticola (V.Poelln.) Bayer :164(1976).  Bayer :36(1982).  Type: Swartwaterpoort, near Adelaide, W.E. Armstrong.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon (B):  H. hilliana V.Poelln., Desert Pl.Life 9:103(1937).  H. umbraticola var. hilliana  V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:234(1938).  Type: Cape, ex hort Kew.  Not preserved:  H. obtusa var. pilifera fa truncata Jacobs., Handb.Succ.Pl. 2:574(1960).  Type: ?.  Not preserved.

obtusa: with obtuse leaves.

As discussed under H. cooperi, there is a real problem in understanding the situation concerning the blunt leaved forms of that species and of H. cymbiformis.  I have seen very dark green forms with brown venation in cultivation which I would not relate to H. cooperi.  The highly translucent forms from Fort Beaufort are greener and seem to be continuous with H. cymbiformis through the Swartwaterpoort.  Certainly the plant mentioned above from the Kat River, are very close indeed in appearance to H. cooperi var. obtusata except for the brownish-green coloration.  It has been noted that plants of that variety from Inverbolo (Upper Kei River) tend to become greener under lower light intensities.  The herbarium record shows that the typical form of H. cymbiformis also occurs along the Kat River.  Very robust forms in fact occur 10km S. Fort Beaufort.  H. cooperi var. pilifera is also present in very close proximity.  At Kagasmond and probably at Olifantsbeen nearby, the plants are very similar to the rather longer leaved forms, still with obtuse tips, which are found in Swartwaterpoort near Alicedale.  A Kagasmond collection is also cited under var. dielsiana, which is indicative of the difficulty in using dry herbarium material to make indisputable identifications.  G. Marx has made a collection from Swartwaterpoort in which the plants have the coloration of H. cooperi but the boat-shaped leaves of H. cymbiformis.

Distribution: 3226 (Fort Beaufort): Kagasmond (-CD), Bayer & Bruyns 6562 (NBG); Olifantsbeen (-CD), Krynauw in NBG268/43 (NBG); S. Adelaide (‑CD), Krynauw in NBG 67996; Blinkwater (-DA), Smith 6195 (NBG). Scott 600 (PRE), Bayer 4651 (NBG); Kat River, 10km SE. Fort Beaufort (-DC), Scott 1065 (PRE); Rocklands, Adelaide (-DC), Smith 2801 (NBG).  3325(Port Elizabeth (-BB), Bayer 4653 (NBG).  3326(Grahamstown): Thornkloof (-AA), Bayliss in KG382/76; S. Alicedale (-AC), Bayer 4650 (NBG); Alicedale (-AC), Britten in PRE 34905.

d. var. ramosa (Smith) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. cymbiformis fa ramosa (Smith) Bayer :149(1976).  Bayer :34(1982).  H. ramosa Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 10:22(1940).  Type: CAPE-3427 (Peddie): Wooldridge (-AB), Smith 3168 (NBG).

ramosa: branched.

Consistency is a difficult ideal and this variety does not  conform well with the principle of substance.  It is only known from a long crescent-like rock-face north of Woolridge where plants vary from the normal stemless to increasingly stemmed plants on a gradient from west to east.

Distribution: 3327 (Peddie): Wooldridge (-AB), Smith 3168 (NBG, PRE), Smith 3105 (NBG), Bayer 4648 (NBG); NW. Wooldridge (-AB), Smith 3168, 3169 (NBG).

e. var. reddii (Scott) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. reddii Scott, Cactus Succ.J(US) 66:182(1994).  Type: CAPE-3226( Fort Beaufort): Waterdown Dam, Cathcart(-BB), Scott 8968 (PRE).

reddii: for Dr V.B. Reddi.

Plants from this population at Waterdown Dam have been known for a long time and identified (Bayer,1982) as possibly intermediate between H. cymbiformis and H. batesiana.  Col Scott similarly mentions both species names in his discussion and the matter appears rather problematic.  The population was portrayed as a depauperate one, at least in my perception, with quite considerable variation between the few odd plants at the site.  The few clones sampled in 1982 were not as robust as the one described by Scott, who also thought the population to consist of but a few individuals.  A re-visit to the site by Bayer and Bruyns in 1996 revealed that the south-facing cliff alongside the dam is clothed with huge numbers of plants.  The huge clumps are just like those of H. cymbiformis.  Some of the plants have very distinctive translucent dots and lines, others unmarked and uniformly opaque.  The floral characters mentioned by Scott are not definitive but the flowers do appear to have strongly colored veins.  At the time (Bayer :30, 1982) the species batesiana was still upheld, although not positively associated with field populations.  Since then the range of H. marumiana  has been shown to extend to at least Queenstown and further north.  The Cathcart population does not seem to belong there although the block patterning in the leaves does suggest this.

At the same time the known range of H. cymbiformis has been extended by P.V. Bruyns to the upper reaches of the Black Kei much nearer to Queenstown.  This is on a south-facing cliff at the farm Turnstream.   Here there are small forms which distantly resemble H. lepida as described and illustrated by Smith, and also suggesting the same possible link with H. marumiana and certainly with reddii.  This is particularly so because the Waterdown Dam is on the upper reach of the Black Kei.  A little to the southeast is also a population of larger plants on a very high west-facing cliff which are however with spined margins, and thus apparently belonging to the var. setulifera.  The block-patterning in the leaves of these two populations is not as marked as the Waterdown plants.  There is an old Galpin collection from even nearer to Queenstown.  Col. Scott was not correct in his opinions about H. marumiana var. batesiana and it is evident from his book that H. marumiana was unfamiliar to him too.  The population at the Waterdown Dam does not seem substantial enough in terms of viability nor range, to justify species rank.  What is needed is cognitive exploration of potential new localities to substantiate already expressed opinions.  In this case there are new records for var. batesiana as well as for H. marumiana and H. cymbiformis.

Distribution: 3226 (Fort Beaufort): Waterdown Dam, Cathcart(-BB), Scott 8968 (PRE); Klipplaat Dam (-BB), Bayer 4649 (NBG).  3227 (Kingwilliamstown): Gwatyn farm (-AB), Galpin 8280 (PRE); Turnstream (-AB), Bayer & Bruyns 6572 (NBG).

f. var. setulifera (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. planifolia var. setulifera V.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 5:54(1938). idem., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 45:163(1938).  Type: East London, Stellenbosch 3332.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3228(East London): Kwelegha bridge (-CC), Smith 5257 (NBG):  H. cymbiformis var. obesa V.Poelln. idem. 45:166(1938).  Type: Idutywa, Bashee River (-BA), G.W. Reynolds.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3228(Butterworth): Xobo River, E. Idutywa (-BA), Smith 7796 (NBG).

setulifera: bearing small bristles.

In the earlier handbooks, the representative specimen for the species was poorly chosen from a Nahoon River specimen.  It is apparent from Haworth’s acceptance of the Bot. Mag. illustration that the more western forms such as thosa at Baakens River or Howiesons Poort, would have been more in keeping with the original circumscription of either the typical species or H. planifolia.  East and north of East London, H. cymbiformis begins to develop a thicker and shorter, more deltoid leaf and the teeth become markedly spined and von Poellnitz’ name is re-instated for this variety.

Distribution: 3128 (Umtata): Mquanduli (-DC), Walker in NBG2271/27 (BOL).  3227 (Kingwilliamstown): Highclere (AB), Bayer & Bruyns 6573 (NBG);  Inverbolo (-BC), Bruyns (NBG); Bluewater (-DA), Smith 676 (NBG); Near Komgha (-DB), Marloth 6510 (PRE); Tangla River (-DC), Smith 3881, 3882a (NBG); Newlands Location (-DD), Smith 3510 (NBG); Pump Stn. (-DD), Smith 611, 2785, 3096 (NBG); Kings Farm (-DD), Smith 3071 (NBG); McCleantown (-DD), Smith 3126, 3127, 2883, 2884, 2885, 3882 (NBG); Slippery Drift (-DD), Smith 3122, 3125, 3134, 3134a (NBG); below Horseshoe (-DD), Smith 3097 (NBG); Fort Jackson (-DD), Smith 3133, 3388, 3389, 3389a (NBG).  3228 (Butterworth): Willowvale (-AD), Luyt in NBG180/42, in NBG17/46, in NBG57/46, NBG341/38; Xobo River, E. Idutywa (-BA), Smith 7796 (NBG), Smith in NBG341/35 (BOL), Reynolds 2850 (PRE), Reynolds 146 (BOL); Xobo (-BA), Reynolds in PRE 39470, in NBG660/38, Smith 2760, 2796 (NBG); S. Mooiplaas (-CC), Bayer 1706 (NBG); Gonubie (-CC), Smith 6826 (NBG); Kwelegha bridge (-CC), Smith 5257 (NBG); Kwelegha (-CC), Smith 5251, 7183 (NBG); Kei River (-CC), Holmes (BOL).

g. var. transiens (V.Poelln.) Bayer
:162(1976).  Bayer :36(1982).  H. planifolia var. transiens V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov.45:163 (1938).  Type: Cape, Prince Alfred Pass, Archibald 327.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon (B):  H. cymbiformis var. translucens Triebn. et V.Poelln. idem. 45:166(1938).  Scott :94(1985).  Type: Cape, Prince Alfred Pass, Lategan in Triebn.1137.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3323(Willowmore): Prince Alfred Pass, Smith 5709 (NBG):  H. cymbiformis var. multifolia Triebn. idem. 45:166(1938).  Type: Uitenhage, W.E. Armstrong.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3325 (Port Elizabeth): Hellsgate, UItenhage (-CB), Smith 2794 (NBG):  H. cymbiformis var. brevifolia Triebn. et V.Poelln. idem.: 165(1938).  Type: Cape, Hellsgate, Uitenhage, Mrs I. King in Treibn. 1068.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3325 (Port Elizabeth: Hellsgate, Mrs I. King in Smith 2756 (NBG).

transiens: changing into.

In the publication where Von Poellnitz published his two varieties, he actually expresses doubt about identifying three parent species.  Yet he states that H. planifolia var transiens is between H. planifolia and H. cymbiformis, but nearer to the former ‘to look at’.  Two pages further he describes a var. translucens of H. cymbiformis from the same locality.  In this work the circumscription of var. transiens is widened to include the Uitenhage elements at Hellsgate.  There are variants in the Gamtoos Valley (eg. Andrieskraal) which are reminiscent of this highly translucent form, and it is not certain just how these variants relate to either H. cymbiformis or H. gracilis.   The element H. gracilis var. picturata is applied to those forms of that species which are very similar to H. cymbiformis variants.  The ‘clear’ way (a comment made by Dr M. Hayashi)  in which var. transiens is related to H. mucronata is symptomatic of the alternative solutions available in classifying Haworthias, which are not always clear.  It is generally understood that the Little Karoo species are continuous with the Eastern Cape species and this is commonly expressed in Von Poellnitz identifications, and also a feature of Col. Scott’s species distributions.

Thus H. mucronata can be allied with equal facility to either H. cymbiformis or H. cooperi, when in fact in the field it is more intimately related to H. decipiens.  The location of this note is a powerful reminder that distinctions between species are highly blurred and that alternative solutions are possible.

Distribution: 3323 (Willowmore): Prince Alfred Pass (-CC), Smith 5624a, 5709, 5624, 5624a (NBG), Taute (BOL), Fourcade 3490 (BOL); Oskloof (-DA), Bruyns 7077 (BOL); Luiskraal (-DA), Forrester 399 (NBG).  3324 (Steytlerville): Scholtzberg (-CA), Van Jaarsveld 7804 (NBG); Andrieskraal (-DA), Fourcade 176 (NBG).  3325 (Port Elizabeth): Hellsgate, Uitenhage (-CB), Smith 2794 (NBG); Hellsgate, Mrs I. King in Smith 2756 (NBG); Kemachs (-CB), Smith 905 (NBG); Near Port Elizabeth (-DC), Smith 3892 (NBG); Stayner in NBG46/56, Stayner in KG80/70 (NBG), Taute in NBG1283/36, in NBG468/37, Taute .

Inadequately located: ex hort, NBG486/30.

H. cymbiformis - Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol. 21 t. 802 (1805) [S.T. Edwards]8067
 H. cuspida - Addisonia, vol. 23 t. 741 (1954-1959) [M.E. Eaton] 162903
Haworthia cymbiformis (Haw.) Duval
[as Aloe cymbiformis Haw.]
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine,
vol. 21: t. 802 (1805) [S.T. Edwards]
Haworthia cymbiformis (Haw.) Duval
[as Haworthia cuspidata Haw.]
Addisonia, vol. 23: t. 741
(1954-1959) [M.E. Eaton]

Haworthia Revisited – 10. Haworthia decipiens

10. Haworthia decipiens V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 28:103(1930).  Bayer :111(1976).  Bayer :37(1976).  H. pearsonii Wright sensu C.L. Scott, Aloe 18:7(1980).  Scott :44(1985).  Type: Cape, near Zwartberg mountains, Mrs van der Bijl.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3322 (Oudtshoorn): Kleinsleutelfontein, E. Prince Albert (-AB), Bayer 5157 (NBG).

decipiens: deceiving.

Rosette stemless, slowly proliferous, to 20cm φ.  Leaves broadly ovate sometimes acuminate, relatively thin, marginal spines sparse but broad at the base, bright green in colour.  Inflorescence robust, simple.  Flowers many, densely arranged, broad and flat across top.

1982 – Von Poellnitz recorded this species only once from the Zwartberg Mountain in the Prince Albert district and derived the name from the similarity to H. arachnoidea.  As pointed out in the discussion on H. arachnoidea, there may be a close relationship between these species.  Available distribution information indicates that they may be geographically complementary.  However, at its most westerly point (Klaarstroom), H. decipiens has the broad flat yellowish‑green leaves of H. Iockwoodii but with sparse, short broad marginal spines.  The leaf tips do not die back.  H. decipiens may grow up to 120mm in diameter but it occurs in smaller forms too, only 30‑40mm in diameter.  From Klaarstroom it extends eastward to Springbokvlakte in the south.  Northwards it is found from Klipplaat to Pearston.  However, in this area there is some deviation from the typical form and the plants tend to have translucent areas in the leaf with a tendency to be bluish‑green.  There is thus a suggestion of intergradation with H. bolusii and H. cooperi on the grounds of both superficial similarities and distribution.  The picture in the west is similarly obscure and the forms regarded as H . decipiens east of Uniondale also have leaf translucence, but tend to be a darker purplish‑green.  In the Groot River area west of Campherpoort,  H. decipiens occurs as a dwarfed form with notably incurved leaves.

1999 – Although von Poellnitz described this species in 1930, by 1938 he had still recorded only this single collection.  However, in the absence of a preserved specimen and adequate locality data, there can be no certainty that the original description is correctly interpreted.  In all its guises it is a very common species as recognised here; and the type, as selected here seems to represents the species as it is more generally known.  The type selected by Breuer and Metzing is unfortunate as it is not geographically correct and is better related to the blue-green var. cyanea.

Col Scott has taken the view that H. decipiens is synonymous with H. pearsonii Wright but unfortunately does not consider or refer to H. decipiens sensu Bayer anywhere in his revision.  It is as difficult to relate the Kew illustration (presumably the chosen lectotype) of H. pearsonii to a natural population.  It apparently does not have translucent leaf faces.  H. decipiens of von Poellnitz was a relatively small plant and if indeed it came from north of the Zwartberg mountains as the reference to the Prince Albert district suggests, then it could probably be only as interpreted here, or as a variant of H. marumiana.  Von Poellnitz did not relate his H. decipiens to pearsonii so it is an improbable option.  Scott’s illustration is not representative of either of these interpretations and, without reference to locality, could be of the var. cyanea here described (the blue-green form).  It seems to compare very poorly with the Kew illustration.  The species as recognised here is a very complex one with connections to H. bolusii, H. lockwoodii, H. mucronata, H. cooperi and also H. gracilis.


a. var. decipiens.
It is concluded that von Poellnitz’ species did in fact come from the Prince Albert area where the species transposes to H. lockwoodii.  The var. cyanea is also found in the same general area and it is smaller and with more incurved leaves.  The species is most strongly represented in the Willowmore, Steytlerville area where the plants are large and robust.  The leaves may recurve and are heavily spined with large spines, rather broad and flat at the base.  Interspersed over the same area, and extending to the east, is a smaller form which tends to develop reddish venation.

 Distribution: 3221 (Merweville), Prince Albert (-DC), Bolus 11657 (BOL, PRE).  3224 (Graaff Reinet): near Jansenville (-DC), Smith 3642 (NBG).  3322(Oudtshoorn): W. Prince Albert (-AA), Bayer 5182 (NBG); Kleinsleutelfontein, E. Prince Albert (-AB), Bayer 5157 (NBG); W. Klaarstroom (-BC), Bruyns in KG124/77 (NBG); S. Prince Albert (-CA), Bayer 5261 (NBG).  3323 (Willowmore): Skerpkop, E. Willowmore (-AD), Bayer in KG231/70 (NBG); Constantia (-BB), Bayer in KG140/72 (NBG).  3324 (Steytlerville): Campherpoort (-AA), Smith 3649, 3657 (NBG); Steytlerville (-AD), Rossouw 453 (NBG); Kleinpoort (-BD), Smith 7065 (NBG); Dam se Drif (-CA), Rossouw 478 (NBG), Bruyns 1842 (NBG); S. Steytlerville (-CA), Stayner in KG637/61 (NBG); 3325 (Port Elizabeth): 20km N. Glenconnor (-AC), Long (BOL).

Inadequately located: Kleinswartberg, Wood (BOL).

b. var. cyanea var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3324 (Steytlerville): Fairview, W. Jansenville (-CD), Bayer 4180 (NBG, Holo.).

cyanea: blue.

Differs in being smaller with incurving leaves and in the bluish-green coloration.  (A var. decipiens foliis venetis incurvatis differt).

This variety occurs north of the mountains between Jansenville and occurs as far to the northwest as Merweville.  It is distinguished from H. arachnoidea by its translucence in the upper leaf and by the more robust spines.  Herbarium specimens will be even more difficult to separate and two specimens cited under H. arachnoidea from the Jansenville area, may in fact be specimens of H. decipiens var. cynaea  It generally differs from H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana also on account of the robust spines but also for the broader and shorter leaves.

Distribution: 3221 (Merweville): De List, Merweville (-CB), Bayer 2377 (NBG).  3222 (Beaufort West): Trakas Kuilen (-DC), Bayer sn.  (NBG).  3224 (Graaff Reinet): Fairview, west of Jansenville (-CD), Bayer 4180 (NBG); Meerlust (-DC), Bayer & Bruyns 6580 (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): E. Klaarstroom (-BC), Bayer 4440 (NBG).  3323 (Willowmore): S. Rietbron (-AB), Bruyns in KG 439/75 (NBG); Beervlei (-AB), Latti in KG56/78 (NBG); Georgida (-AD), Bayer in KG436/75 (NBG); Zuurberg near Georgida (-AD); Fourcade 4637 (NBG); Nahoogte (-BC), Van Jaarsveld 7865 (NBG); N. Uniondale (-CA), Bayer 2083 (NBG), Bruyns 2241b (NBG).  3324 (Steytlerville): Hanekam (-BD), Bayer 4657 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Georgida, Fourcade 4637 (BOL); Uniondale, Van Blerk (BOL).

c. var. minor var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3324 (Steytlerville): Kleinpoort, Smith 3588 (NBG, Holo.).

minor: smaller.

Differs in being much smaller, to 6cm φ, with broad incurved leaves, and light green in colour.  (A var. decipiens foliis valde parvioribus incurvatis et subviridibus differt).

Occurs in the Groot River valley between the ranges.  It may be directly related to H. gracilis var. viridis, and the transition to that species can be followed southward through the Zeekoeinek Pass near Baroe.  Northwards the transition is to the var. pringlei.  A similar transition to H. translucens var. viridis occurs in the Perdepoort north of Sapkamma.

Distribution: 3225 (Somerset East):In valley behind Bosberg (-DA), Van Der Westhuizen 287 (PRE).  3323 (Willowmore): Redcliffe (-BA), Bruyns 7052 (BOL).  3324 (Steytlerville): Campherpoort (-AB), Smith 7061 (NBG); Campherpoort (-AA), Barker 5009 (NBG), Bayer in KG 315/70 (NBG); Grootriver, Mara (-AA), Bayer 2076 (NBG); Tuinskloof (-AC), Bruyns 3125 (NBG); NE. Steytlerville (-AD), Smith 3591 (NBG); Waaipoort (-AD), Bayer & Bruyns 6583 (NBG); NW. Die Bordjie (-BC), Bayer & Bruyns 6587 (NBG); Two Waters (-BC), Smith 7244 (NBG); Kleinpoort (-BD), Smith 3588 (NBG); Baviaanskloof (-CA), Wisura 1837 (NBG); Ouplaas (-DB), Bruyns 7040 (BOL).  3325(Port Elizabeth): Sapkamma to Perdepoort (-AC), Bayer & Venter 6618, 6619 (NBG).

d. var. pringlei (Scott) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. pringlei Scott, Bradleya 12:103(1994).  Type: 3224 (Graaff Reinet): Adelaide district (-DD), Scott in PRE8970.

pringlei: for Victor Pringle.

This bright green plant with contrasting white spines has been known for a long time and is represented by many collections from the general area of Jansenville, Klipplaat, Aberdeen, and Pearston.  These are well represented in the Compton Herbarium.  The leaves are incurved and erect to sub-erect and not as broad and ovate-deltoid as in the typical variety.  The connection to Adelaide is by no means clear and there is very little to substantiate this as a discrete element in that area.  This is because H. cooperi, H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana, H. gracilis and H. cymbiformis all present problems of their own there.  I have a collection from Baviaanskrans which I have placed with H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana and it is to a degree very similar to this element.

Distribution: 3223 (Rietbron): S. Aberdeen (-DC), Perry 659 (NBG).  3224 (Graaff Reinet): Aberdeen Road (-CD), C.A. Smith 2806a (PRE); Oatlands (-CD), Smith 907 (NBG); Ebenezer (-DB), Smith 7245 (NBG), Bayer 2070 (NBG); Harefield (-DB), Smith 7244 (NBG); Welgelegen (-DC), Bayer & Bruyns 6581 (NBG); Jansenville (-DC), Stayner in KG188/62 (NBG); Adelaide district (-DD), Scott in PRE 8970.  3324(Steytlerville): Klipplaat (-AB), Branch (NBG); SE. Mt.Stewart (-AB), Bayer & Bruyns 6582 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 11. Haworthia emelyae

11. Haworthia emelyae V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 42:271(1937).  Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 34:28(1979).  Bayer :115(1976).  Bayer :38(1982).  Type: Cape, locality unknown, Mrs E. Ferguson in Long 322.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon (B):  H. blackburniae V.Poelln., Kakteenk. 9:132(1937). Nom. illegit. non Barker 1937.  H. correcta V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 43:103(1938).  Type: Cape, Calitzdorp, Mrs E. Blackburn in Triebn. 978.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3321(Ladismith): Rooiberg, E. Vanwyksdorp(-DA), Mrs Schnettler in KG 335/71 (NBG):  H. picta idem. 44:133(1938).  V.Poelln., Desert.Pl.Life :126(1939).  Type: Cape, Moeras River, Mrs S. Blackburn in Triebn. 1062.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): icon, Fourcade 72 (NBG).

emelyae: for Emely Ferguson.

Rosette to 10cm φ, seldom proliferous.  Leaves 15-20, distinctly retused, pointed, barely translucent, with scattered elongate small flecks, with obscure raised tubercles, lined, reddish-brown hued.  Inflorescence simple.  Flowers 15-20, white.

1982 – H. emelyae is a widely distributed species occurring from Uniondale through the Little Karoo to west of Ladismith.  It occurs in a variety of different geological formations and varies accordingly.  The plants have very short recurved leaves with convex end areas usually flecked with pinkish markings.  The forms east of Oudtshoorn usually have rounded end areas and are scabrid on the upper leaf faces.  Westwards the leaves become pointed and smoother.  However, there are clear signs of intergradation with H. magnifica in the Muiskraal area of Riversdale.  Doubt has been cast on the origin of Mrs Ferguson’s plants but G.G. Smith’s records clearly indicate that they came from Van Wyksdorp and that they were collected there by a Mrs Le Roux.  The var. multifolia has up to 60, more slender, suberect leaves; and was compared in the original description with H. serrata.  Other forms of H. emelyae where the few leaves are shortly recurved and round‑tipped can similarly be compared with H. magnifica var. atrofusca.  The eastern forms with the flatter, rounded leaf tips can be compared to H. bruynsii and H. springbokvlakensis.  H. emelyae is generally non‑proliferous.

1999 – The 1982 discussion is fraught with error as two species are actually involved.  The scabrid element referred to above has since been excerpted as H. bayeri and it is fairly obvious that there can be no extension to H. bruynsii which belongs in the Hexangulares.  The problem is compounded by the fact that von Poellnitz described three species all of which are synonymous, and yet may have cited H. bayeri among these.  The integration with H. magnifica was through the var. major which is now transferred to H. emelyae because of the intermediate populations mentioned above which occur just east of, and in the closer vicinity of, Muiskraal.


a. var. emelyae.
The typical variety is rather strongly flecked and the leaves are always retused to horizontal and close to ground level.  The neotype cited above is a specimen originating from near Vanwyksdorp and sent by the original collector (Mrs Le Roux) to G.G. Smith.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): 20km W. Ladismith (-BD), NBG144768; Springfontein (-CC), Smith 5787 (NBG); 42km Calitzdorp to Vanwyksdorp (‑DA), Mrs Le Roux in Smith 5437 (NBG); Vanwyksdorp (-DA), Joubert (BOL);Rooiberg, E. Vanwyksdorp (-DA), Mrs Schnettler in KG 335/71 (NBG); SE. Vanwyksdorp (-DC), Bayer in KG257/77 (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): Mt Hope (-CA), Schnettler in KG582/69 (NBG); Moeras River (-CC), Smith 2447 (NBG); N. Robinson Pass (-CC), Bruyns in KG434/75 (NBG); Zebra (-CD), Smith 2905 (NBG); Erfpacht (-DD), Smith 5808, 6106 (NBG); 3323 (Willowmore): Uniondale to Avontuur (-CA), Smith 2935 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Ladismith, Pillans 858 (BOL); Oudtshoorn, Taylor (BOL).

b. var. comptoniana (Smith) Venter & Hammer
Cact.Succ.J(US) 69:77(1997).  H. comptoniana Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 11:76(1945).  Bayer 108(1976).  Bayer :33(1982).  Scott :128(1985).  Type: CAPE-3323 (Willowmore): Georgida (-AD), M. Malherbe in Smith 3433 (NBG).

comptoniana: in honour of Prof.R.H. Compton.

1982 – The species with the flattened ends to the leaves are the most sought after, and H. comptoniana is particularly attractive.  It occurs in quartz patches and the plants are often well hidden under the stones.  The plants are bigger than in H. emelyae (the nearest relative), growing up to 120 mm in diameter in cultivation.  The growth form parallels that of H. emelyae exactly and the difference is that it is a bigger and entirely smooth species.  The leaf end area is slightly pellucid and reticulated.  Where H. emelyae is generally tinted purplish-brown, H. comptoniana is green.  Distribution and abundance is not fully known and H. comptoniana is considered very rare in the field.  It has proved very easy in cultivation and good seed is easily produced by cross-pollination.

1999 – This variety grows in very close association with H. bayeri but it is not known if other populations exist other than at the type locality.  Some forms which are pale coloured and in which there is little contrast between the reticulation and the background colour and translucence of the leaf, are very plain.  Other plants are darker coloured or with more conspicuous specks and marked reticulation, and they are are much more attractive.

Distribution: 3323 (Willowmore): Georgida (-AD), M. Malherbe in Smith 3433 (NBG), Smith 3433 (NBG), Bayer in KG114/72 (NBG).

c. var. major (Smith) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. schuldtiana var. major Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 12:1(1946).  H. maraisii var. major (Smith) Bayer :132(1976).  H. magnifica var. major (Smith) Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :44(1982).  Type: CAPE‑3321 (Ladismith): Garcias Pass (‑CC), Smith 5370 (NBG).

major: greater.

1982 – The var. major has an unusually large flower similar to that of H. emelyae and there is evidence of intergradation of these two taxa.

1999 – Although in this variety the leaf tubercles are armed with a spine, the general form of the plants is that of H. emelyae, and populations east of Muiskraal confirm this relationship.  The change in relationship forged here has its roots in the new collections of H. magnifica around Riversdale and in the new arrangement regarding H. maraisii.  Another consideration is the position of var. paradoxa, mentioned in 1976, and that is its relationship with H. mirabilis.  Similarly the following variety and its position need also to be considered.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): Garcia’s Pass (‑CC), Smith 5370 (NBG), Garcia’s Pass (-CC), Dekenah 9 (PRE); Muiskraal (-CC), Smith 3458 (NBG), Bayer in KG118/71 (NBG); Riversdale (-CC), Muir in NBG164/25 (BOL); Sandvlakte (-CD), Bayer in KG138/72 (NBG).

d. var. multifolia Bayer
Natn.Cact.Succ.J 34:31(1979).  Bayer :39(1982).  Type: CAPE‑3321(Ladismith): Springfontein, Riversdale (‑CC), Bayer 1558 (NBG).

multifolia: many leaved.

When this variety was described it was associated and compared with H. serrata.  A new population is now known a little further to the west and collections by J. Dekenah suggest that it is possibly a little more widely represented in that general area.  The plants have many more upright leaves and the relationship with H. serrata through H. heidelbergensis, which is also now better understood, becomes real.  There is a strong suggestion that these links all also involve H. mirabilis and this is perhaps supported by von Poellnitz’ interpretation and citations of varieties of that species.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): Springfontein, Riversdale (‑CC), Bayer 1558 (NBG); W. Springfontein (-CC), Smith 5769 (NBG); E. Springfontein (-CC), Smith 5768 (NBG), Smith 5389 (NBG, PRE), Bayer 1558 (NBG); Muiskraal (-CC).

Haworthia Revisited – 12. Haworthia floribunda

12. Haworthia floribunda V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 40:149(1936).  idem. 44:228(1938).  Bayer :117(1976).  Bayer :39(1982).  Scott :58(1985).  Type: Cape, Heidelberg, Mrs E. Ferguson.  Not preserved.  Lectotype: icon (B).  Epitype (B&M): Blackdown, N Heidelberg, Bayer 158 (NBG).

floribunda: many flowered.

Rosette stemless, up to 3cm φ, slowly proliferous.  Leaves 20-30 dark green opaque, upto ovate-lanceolate, spreading, twisted with flattened, rounded tip, margins scabrid to dentate.  Inflorescence simple, to 250mm.  Flowers 10-15, greenish-white, few open together.

1982 – This is a very interesting small species with twisted lanceolate leaves with blunt rounded tips.  It was described from plants collected north of Heidelberg (Cape) where they are all glabrous and where hybridisation with H. turgida also occurs.  It has not been collected further west although there is a very old collection in the Botanical Research Institute (PRE) from Swellendam.  Around Riversdale the plants may have scabrous leaves with denticulate leaf margins.  There is a known population north of Albertinia in which the plants have more and shorter leaves, as well as another similar population near Gouritzmond.  These two populations may suggest an affinity with H. chloracantha, as put forward by A.E. Speechley (unpublished).  There may be such a relationship, but it seems likely that H. floribunda and H. parksiana are in fact related.  They both tend to grow well‑shaded and in moss and lichen.  Further exploration of the Gouritz River tributaries may produce an answer to this puzzle.

1999 – The Gouritz valley has provided no answers to the above puzzle but there have been a number of other significant collections.  There is a population south of Swellendam of which specimens in cultivation have been very robust.  They are relatively light green in cultivation and also individual plants are smooth as was the original type.  Odd specimens have pointed leaves.  Northwest of Swellendam is a similar but darker green plant also with pointed leaves and this is taken to be H. variegata.  Further south from Swellendam, H. floribunda assumes the same form as around Riversdale.  At Great Brak there is a population of plants growing with H. pygmaea which were assumed to be H. floribunda, but they are probably simply H. chloracantha var. denticulifera.  This is true also of the populations south of Albertinia and also of one population south of Heidelberg which has pointed leaves.  The flattened leaf-tip is not confined to this species, and appears in H. magnifica and H. maraisii.  A relationship with H. variegata is probable through the two populations in the vicinity of Swellendam.


a. var. floribunda.
The typical variety is not typical of the species at all and this glabrous variety is only known from the type locality at Heidelberg where it is very scarce.  Hybrids with H. turgida are also present.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): 6km N. Heidelberg (-BB), Smith 5545 (NBG, PRE), Bayer 158 (NBG); Heidelberg commonage (-BB), Ferguson in BOL20507.

b. var. dentata  var. nov. 
Type: CAPE-3421 (Riversdale): W. Riversdale, Dekenah 90 in Smith 5502 (NBG, Holo.).

dentata: toothed.

Differs in being smaller, to 4cmφ, the leaves very dark green, slightly scabrid and with spined margins.  (A var. floribunda foliis subtiliter scabridis et denti-marginatis differt).

This variety describes the smaller form which has distinct and widely spaced marginal spines.  The leaves are very dark green and also slightly scabrid.  It occurs from the Bontebok Park at Swellendam to northwest of Riversdale, and includes larger forms east of Riversdale also with pronounced marginal spines.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): Bontebok Park (-BA), Bayer 3439 (NBG); E. Buffeljachts (-BA), Viviers 156 (NBG).  3421(Riversdale): W. Riversdale (-AA), Dekenah 90 in Smith 5502 (NBG): 5km N. Riversdale (-AB), Smith 5381 (NBG, PRE); 15km E. Riversdale (-AB), Smith 5758 (NBG); Dassieklip (-AC), Venter 92/31 (NBG); Wydersrivier (-BA), Smith 5491, 6781 (NBG), Bayer 2311.

c. var. viridescens var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3420 (Swellendam): S. Swellendam (-AB), De Kok (NBG, Holo.).

viridescens: becoming green.

Very green plants with darker coloration at the basal leaf margins.  Relatively glabrous and more robust in cultivation.  (A var. floribunda habitu robusto et colore viridi vivido ad margines basales foliorum atranti differt).

This is a large robust plant in cultivation and includes two forms, one of which has pointed leaves.  The coloration is greener than normal for even cultivated plants of the species.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): Below Swellendam Stn. (-AB)., C.A. Smith 2724a (PRE); S. Swellendam (-AB), D.De Kok (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 13. Haworthia gracilis

13. H. gracilis V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 27:133(1929).  idem. 41:201(1937).  idem., Des.Pl.Life 9:90(1937).  idem., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov.  H. translucens sensu Bayer :162(1976).  Bayer ::56(1982).  non Scott :69(1985).  Type: Graaff-Reinet, Amalienstein, Willowmore, Stellenbosch.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3326 (Grahamstown): Hellspoort (-BA), Britten (PRE).

gracilis: graceful.

Rosette stemless. to 6cm φ, proliferous.  Leaves 30-40, lanceolate acuminate, incurved with slender short marginal spines, pale greyish-green, upper surface translucent between lines.  Inflorescence simple to 200mm.  Flowers white.

1982 – Reflection on the first edition of the Handbook showed that there were two main areas of uncertainty.  The first of these was the relation of the blue‑green species, i.e. H. semiviva, H. bolusii, H. blackbeardiana and H. cooperi.  The second was H. translucens.  In the introduction it is stated that H. bolusii, H. cooperi, H. cymbiformis, H. habdomadis and H. decipiens diffuse into the mountains between Uniondale and Port Elizabeth.  To these can still be added H. zantneriana, H. xyphiophylla and perhaps even H. arachnoidea, so that forms of each of these species may contribute to this concept of H. translucens.  To the present day the composition of H. translucens is thus still very unclear.  There are a considerable number of unlikely elements which can only be thrown together until more understanding of this complex problem can be gained.  The ssp. tenera occurs in the middle Fish River valley east of Grahamstown.  In Von Poellnitz’s type locality, Plutos Vale, both glabrous and haired forms occur in populations within 75 metres of one another.  H. cymbiformis var. incurvula is only a little further away.  H. gracilis was collected north‑east of Grahamstown at Hellskloof and here the leaves of the plants are longer, more erect, and glabrous.  The flower is essentially the same.  However, the home of H. translucens is really the Gamtoos Valley and in the first edition it was pointed out how difficult it was to reconcile such a disjunct population.  Although not providing an entirely satisfactory explanation, the discovery of the small forms of H. bolusii in the Jansenville area do suggest how this occurs.  Small translucent and fairly hairy forms occur in the conglomerates west of Uitenhage.  Darker more opaque and less hairy forms occur at Dead Man’s Gulch and Coega to the east.  Dr W.R. Branch has collected very large forms from the lower Krom River near Humansdorp. Many different collections are recorded from Loerie in the lower Gamtoos valley to as far west as Uniondale.  H. cymbiformis is also distributed across the area and the var. transiens is found at Prince Alfred’s Pass in the extreme west of the distribution range.  The similarity of some collections of this species (e.g. at Andrieskraal) to H. cymbiformis var. incurvula are further evidence of some relationship between the Gamtoos and the Fish River species.

1999 – Here some attempt is made to cast a little more light on a confused situation and it has to be admitted that this solution may be inadequate.  In the first place it is apparent that the name ‘translucens’ as typified by the illustration in Curtis’ Bot. Mag., is applicable to Haworthia herbacea and not available for this species.  In the second place the small dark more opaque forms referred to above are now regarded in this work as the missing H. aristata of Haworth.  The name H. gracilis as used here now, is to refer to a wide range of populations extending from Grahamstown westwards to at least Uniondale.  Considerable local knowledge will be required to properly evaluate the species as presented here.  The recognition of varieties will hopefully present a realistic view of the variables involved and hopefully facilitate communication about these plants.  The fact that the var. minima appears to re-occur around Uitenhage is curious.  The var. picturata, which has been collected in the Baakens River Valley together with H. cymbiformis, is also odd.  Its relationship with H. cymbiformis var. transiens needs to be explored.  The var. viridis is also a poorly known entity with an improbable distribution.  It is inextricably linked with H. decipiens var. minor.  The distributions for the varieties are not very convincing at all, and as is the case elsewhere, they provide only the skeleton of an hypothesis which should be examined in the field.  It seems that there is some interaction with both H. cymbiformis and H. cooperi, if not also with H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana.  There is strong interaction with H. decipiens.  It appears that there is often a transformation H. gracilis var. viridis to H. decipiens var. minor from steep, perhaps shady south-facing cliff to lower lying more horizontal and exposed sites.   It will also be obvious from the specimens cited that in two case there is co-occurrence with H. decipiens.  There are three major river valleys which need to be better explored.  These are the Gamtoos, Swartkops and Sundays.  The intervening mountain ranges are a formidable challenge and this is one species in which the varieties are not closely tied to geographical distribution.


a. var. gracilis.
This variety is mostly known from northwest of Grahamstown and it is not certain how widely it may occur or with which species it may interact.  There are a number of collections from the Eastern Cape which have the same narrow elongate and relatively blunt leaf-tip and the Gladhurst (Adelaide) citation is very close geographically to H. cymbiformis var. obtusa, and to H. cooperi.  In the Hankey/Patensie area these are usually somewhat bluish-green and associated therefore with H. cooperi var. gordoniana.  It is a difficult distinction to make as the latter may then be an ecotype associated with low-lying level areas where the plants tend to be single, are less proliferous and are withdrawn into the soil.  Gerhard Marx collected a larger form from northeast of Grahamstown which is very similar to H. cooperi var. leightonii.  At Jeffrey’s Bay it is difficult to decide if the small element there represents H. cooperi var. gordoniana or H. gracilis.  Similarly towards Middleton there is a population which contains two elements, one is H. cooperi and the other could be either H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana or H. gracilis.  This is an interesting comparison because it raises the possibility that the latter two are continuous.

Distribution: 3226 (Fort Beaufort): Gladhurst, Adelaide (-AC), Krynauw in NBG272/43 (NBG), Venter & Bayer (NBG).  3324(Steytlerville): Paul Sauer Dam (-DA), Swart (NBG); Mistkraal (-DA), Smith 7062 (NBG); Ferndale (-DB), Smith 3672, 3675, 3677, 3678, 6204, 7185 (NBG); 2km E. Hankey (-DD), Bayer 4476 (NBG); Hankey (-DD), Paterson 24 (BOL), Fourcade 3329 (BOL); Gamtoos Heights (-DD), King 90 (BOL); Longmore (-DD), Bayer & Bruyns 6855 (NBG).  3325(Port Elizabeth): Loerie (-CC), Britten (BOL).   3326(Grahamstown): Hellspoort (-AB), Dyer 4 (BOL), Long (BOL), Blackburn in BOL71332, Britten in PRE 34922, in PRE 34929, Smith in NBG326/34, Bayer in KG336/70 (NBG); 5km N. Grahamstown (-AB), Smith in NBG332/34; Howiesonspoort (-AC), James 549 (BOL); 7km NE. Grahamstown (-BA), Bayer & Venter 6603 (NBG); Brakkloof (-BA), Acocks 12046 (PRE); Fish River (-BA), Dyer 580 (PRE).

Inadequately located: Albany, Dyer in NBG1804/30.

b. var. isabellae (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov.
H. isabellae  V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:226(1938).  non Scott :76(1985).  Type: Cape, near Port Elizabeth, Mrs I King.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE‑3325 (Port Elizabeth): Humansdorp, Gamtoos bridge (‑CC), H. Hall in NBG 68799.

isabellae: for Mrs Isabella King.

This variety is recognised as the more traditional form of the species in which the outer leaves are spreading and the inner leaves more erect.  It is very proliferous.  The leaves are not as bluish-green, nor as swollen towards the tip as in  H. cooperi variants which have often been assigned to this species.  The marginal spines are quite dense and relatively long for the narrow-leaves, as compared to H. cooperi var gordoniana which also occurs in the Gamtoos Valley.

Distribution: 3324 (Steytlerville): Dam se Drif (-CA), Rossouw 483 (NBG); Moordenaarskloof (-CD), Stayner (NBG); Ferndale (-DB), Smith 3674 (NBG); Gamtoos (-DD), Stayner in KG367/62 (NBG); Hankey to Humansdorp (-DD), Smith 7267 (NBG); Gamtoos River (-DD), Smith 7439 (NBG); NE. Hankey (-DD), Bayer 4475 (NBG), Stayner (NBG).  3325 (Port Elizabeth): Loerie (-CC), Britten in PRE 34924; Gamtoos Ferry (-CC), Stayner in KG341/62; Vanstaadens to Loerie (-CC), Smith 3112 (NBG); Gamtoos bridge (‑CC), King 92 (BOL), H. Hall in NBG 68799, Smith 7266 (NBG); Longmore Forest (-CC), Bayer & Bruyns 6555 (NBG).  3424 (Humansdorp): Woodlands (-BA), Marais in NBG8/66, Krom River Estuary, Rippon (-BB), Branch 1 (NBG).

c. var. tenera (V.Pielln.) M.B.Bayer. 
H. tenera V.Repert. Spec. Nov. 31: 86(1932). Scott: 76 (1985). H. translucens ssp. tenera (V.Poelln.) Bayer :161(1976).  Bayer :56 (1982).  Type: Cape, Plutosvale, Grahamstown, Miss Blackbeard 15.  Not preserved.  Neotype (B&M): Glenelg, Smith 5416 (NBG). H. minima Baker, J. Linn. Soc. 18: 215 (1880). Nom. illeg. ype: Cape, imported by Tuck, in hort Kew.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): icon (K).

tenera: tender or delicate.

This variety passed without comment in the early editions and Scott is justified in regarding it as discrete against the ill-defined view of the species then presented.  It is well-represented in the area northeast and east of Grahamstown and is quite variable.  Entirely glabrous forms occur and Smith’s collection from north of the type locality is also markedly less greyish green, and also less prominently spined.  Breuer and Metzing have unfortunately chosen this specimen as the type for H. tenera when many specimens from Plutosvale were available.

An additional and important consideration in including this distinct element with H. gracilis, is a range of collections from the Uitenhage area (Groendal in particular) where very similar growth forms occur.  These differs from the typical variety in respect of the more compact incurved rosettes and off course, spination.  There are forms of var. isabellae which are practically identical.  To complicate the issue, it should be noted that H. gracilis var. gracilis also occurs near to Plutosvale, and its relation there with H. cymbiformia var. incurvula is not clear.

Distribution: 3323 (Willowmore): Spreeugat (-DB), Bruyns 1650 (NBG).  3324(Steytlerville): Wilgekloof (-CA), Branch 36 (NBG); Groot Kommando Kloof (-CB), van Jaarsveld 7704 (NBG); Ziewefontein (-CB), Fourcade 5471 (BOL); Kouga (-CB), Esterhuysen 7119 (BOL); Scholtzberg (-CB), van Jaarsveld 7792a (NBG); Ashoek (-DA), Smith 3679, 3680 (NBG); Kaan (-DD), Smith 3686 (NBG); 3325 (Port Elizabeth): Groendal wilderness, Nounek (-CA), Scharf 1061 (PRE); Groendal Dam (-CB), Bayer 1404a, Bruyns 1822 (NBG).  3326 (Grahamstown): Plutosvale (-BA), Britten in PRE 34942, Britten 12 (BOL), Smith 9, 5419 (NBG), Bayer in KG47/72, in KG47/72a (NBG), Dyer in NBG 802/30 (BOL), Dyer 2173 (PRE), Erens 435 (PRE), Hutchinson 1577 (BOL); Top Plutosvale (-BA), Smith 5417; Glenelg (-BA), Smith 5416 (NBG); Near Fletchers Farm (-BA), Smith 5418, 5420 (NBG); S. Hunts Drift (-BB), Smith 5679 (NBG); S. Committees (-BB), Smith 6509 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Uitenhage, Long in NBG1456/35, Britten in NBG741/31, Cook (BOL); Albany, Luyt in NBG305/45; Hankey, Coates in NBG369/39, NBG355/39; Patensie, Smith 3025 (NBG); Port Elizabeth, Arnold (BOL).

d. var. picturata var.nov. 
Type: 3325(Port Elizabeth): Enon (-BC), Thode 21507 (NBG, Holo.).

picturata: variegated.

Differs from the type in having glabrous, bright green leaves, in which the translucent areas of the leaves contrast strongly with the dark green opaque reticulation.  (A var. gracilis foliis glabris et bene notatis differt).

This variety has generally been overlooked as intermediate between typical H. cymbiformis and the var. transiens.  However, there are localities where this variant reportedly grows together with H. cymbiformis, and it appears to be derived primarily from the gracilis element in the greater Baviaanskloof.  The leaf-tips are either normally pointed, and thus very similar to the var. isabellae, or may be blunt and incurved.  The main distinction is the distinct translucent reticulation contrasting with the opaque lower leaf surfaces.

Distribution: 3323 (Willowmore): 9km E. Haarlem (-CB), Smith 3669 (NBG).  3324 (Steytlerville): Geelhoutboskloof (-CA), Viviers 879 (NBG); Diepriver (-CD), Van Jaarsveld 15342 (NBG); N. Andrieskraal (-DA), Fourcade 176 ((NBG); Kleinwaterkloof (-DA), Smith 7102 (NBG); Grootwaterkloof (-DA), Smith 7103 (NBG); 3.5km W. Hankey (-DD), Stayner (NBG); Kleinrivier road (-DD), Smith 2931 (NBG).  3325(Port Elizabeth): Enon (-BC), Thode A2774 (PRE), Thode 21507, 26090 (NBG); Longmore Forest (-CC), Branch 369 (NBG).

e. var. viridis M.B.Bayer var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3325 (Port Elizabeth): Perdepoort (-AC), Smith 6867 (NBG, Holo.).

viridis: green.

Differs from the type in the brighter green coloration and in its more northwesterly geographic distribution.  (A var. gracilis foliiis viridibus vividuis et distributione geographica septentionali-occidentali differt).

Occurs to the northwest in the Winterhoek mountains and may have the form typical of the species, with longish, erect and glabrous incurving leaves, or be somewhat squatter with broader incurving leaves.  One record from east of Hankey is attributed to this variety, and there are two records from the Steytlerville area where the small form of H. decipiens is also recorded.  Field observations show a transition directly to H. decipiens var. minor and also to H. decipiens var. pringlei.  As stated earlier, it is very difficult to detect any geographical patterns in the variation of the species and it is probably over-ridden by ecotypic variation in a topographically diverse region.

Distribution: 3324 (Steytlerville): Oulande, Steytlerville (-AA), Schoeman in KG22/84 (NBG); Campherpoort (-AA), Smith 3594, 3646 (NBG), Bruyns 1629 (NBG), Bayer 2074 (NBG); Die Poort (-AD), Branch 353 (NBG); Dorschfontein (-BC), Bayer 3375 (NBG), Bayer & Bruyns 6589 (NBG); Diepnekkloof (-CA), Branch 35 (NBG); Kouga Dam (-DA), Stayner in KG343/62 (NBG); Witrivier (-DA), Bayliss in KG376/75 (NBG); Ouplaas (-DB), Bruyns 7040b (BOL); Hankey to Patensie (-DD), Bosch in KG73/70 (NBG).  3325 (Port Elizabeth): Brakfontein (-AC), Bayer 4198 (NBG); Perdepoort (-AC), Smith 6867 (NBG), Branch 10 (NBG), Schoeman (NBG); E. Perdepoort (-AC), Smith 7337 (NBG), Bayer & Venter 6600 (NBG); Sapkamma (-AC), Bayer & Venter 6620 (NBG); Perdepoort Mt.(-CA), Swart in Bayer 970 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Baviaanskloof, Bayliss in KG379/76 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 14. Haworthia heidelbergensis

14. Haworthia heidelbergensis Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 14:42(1948).  Bayer :121(1976).  Bayer :41(1982).  Scott :131(1985).  Esterhuizen, Aloe 29:64(1992).  idem. 33:15(1996).  Type: CAPE‑3420 (Bredasdorp): W. Heidelberg (‑BB), J. Dekenah 230 in Smith 6566 (NBG).

heidelbergensis: from Heidelberg, Cape.

Rosette stemless, proliferous, to 8cm φ.  Leaves many, erect to recurved, generally with small marginal and keel spines, usually dark green with reddish hues, end-area of leaf slightly translucent.  Inflorescence simple.  Flowers 10-15, white with brownish veins.

1982 – This is a small species occurring immediately east of Heidelberg.  It grows deeply imbedded in moss and lichen and although the leaves have a distinct end area they are markedly acuminate.  Known only from one locality, there is a related population at Matjestoon to the southwest in which the plants have longer recurving leaves, and another at Bredasdorp similar to the last.  Together these three populations have no obvious affinities with any other species in the complex.  Heidelberg is a very significant area for haworthias, as species such as H. turgida, H. magnifica, H. floribunda and H. retusa all occur nearby.  H. heidelbergensis is not continuously variable with any of these.  It is a winter‑growing species, invariably non‑proliferous and difficult in cultivation.  The occurrence in moss and lichen suggests that it requires more shade than usual, as well as a distinct summer resting period.

1999 – This has proved to be the most surprising species among all the collections of the last ten years.  Many collections have been made including at all the compass points immediately around Heidelberg, although those north are really considered hybrid with H. turgida.  As Esterhuysen (1992) pointed out, the type locality is probably west of Heidelberg as recorded in Smith’s collecting records and on his type specimen.  This is cited in the published description simply as ‘Swellendam District’.  It extends further east towards Riversdale,  westwards to Bonnievale and is common east and north of Bredasdorp.  It has proved to be a major role player among the species in that area apart from its association with H. emelyae already dealt with.  The populations around Heidelberg show evidence of direct introgression with H. turgida and cast new light on the relationship of that species with H. retusa.  H. heidelbergensis is apparently the eastern counterpart of H. mirabilis and these two species never co-occur.  H. serrata also cannot be excluded from discussion of this species (see H. serrata).  At its westernmost limit at Bonnievale, it is confounded with H. maraisii var. meiringii.  At the type locality it is rather atypical, an oxymoronic statement.  Here the leaves are erect, but with a distinct end-area and there are not many leaves.  Characteristic of the species is, however, the abundance of individuals at each site and their density in colonies usually on slightly southern slopes and in thick moss.  The leaves may be smoothish and cloudily translucent or with translucence between veins on the upper leaf surfaces.  The leaves tend to spread and recurve rather than being distinctly retused or with a swollen end-area as in the type.  This is also one of the main feature separating H. mirabilis from H. maraisii, although it is by no means an absolute discriminant.  The colour is also usually a reddish tinted greenish-brown.  At Bredasdorp the population is greener than normal and the plants are like miniaturised H. mirabilis.  Several varieties are distinguished to facilitate perception of this species.


a. var. heidelbergensis
Resende in Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 48:114(1940) suggested a change in the rules of nomenclature so that if a name proved not to be the true stem form (in other words not central to the circumscription of the species) the type should be changed for one that was.  This is a case where that rule would prove quite useful.  A manuscript concerning the pivotal role this species plays in the Southern Cape has been submitted to ALOE.  Despite the major role this species plays in relation to all the species in the Southern Cape, not one of the illustrations in Bayer (1980), ‘The story of Haworthia nitidula’ depicts this.  Larger plants occurs around Heidelberg and mid-way to Riversdale.  The actual locality of the collection is rather odd, as Dekenah pointed out the locality to the author as east of the town, whereas there are two collection of Smiths received from Dekenah, one east and one west.  They are virtually identical and Esterhuizen (1992) confirms this.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): W. Heidelberg (‑BB), J. Dekenah 230 in Smith 6566 (NBG); E. Heidelberg (-BB), Smith 5756 (NBG), Bayer 2550 (NBG); Koppie opposite sports grounds (-BB), Smith 5044 (NBG); S. Heidelberg (-BB), Smith 6989 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Heidelberg, Joubert 180 (BOL).

b. var. minor var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3420( Bredasdorp): Rooivlei (-CA), Bayer in KG 36/70 (NBG, Holo.).

minor: smaller.

Differs in being small, to 3cm φ, and in being light yellowish-green and well spined.  (A var. heidelbergensis foliis parvioribus flavo-virentibus pallidis et spinosis differt).

North of Bredasdorp the plants resemble miniaturised forms of H. mirabilis var. sublineata and have the same plain green colour.  The leaf-tips are also notably translucent.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): Rooivlei (-CA), Bayer in KG 36/70 (NBG), Smith 3903 (NBG).

c. var. scabra var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3420 (Bredasdorp): Leeurivier (-AB), Bayer 1700 (NBG, Holo.).

scabra: rough.

Differs in being small, to 3cm φ and as tall.  The colour is usually very dark green.  The leaves erect or sub-erect, slightly scabrid especially along the margins and keel.  (A var. heidelbergensis foliis recurvatioribus cum fenestra apicali distincta differt).

This is the commonest variety in terms of population distribution.  The plants are quite small and very easily mistaken for erect-leaved forms of H. maraisii despite the general absence of ‘cloudy’ translucent windows in the leaves of the latter species.  Although populations are often small, they are usually very dense.

Distribution: 3320 (Montagu): Drew (-CC), Fouche in PRE 34945; W. Bonnievale (-CC), Bayer 6509 (NBG), Lewis in NBG2457/33 (BOL).  CAPE-3420 (Bredasdorp): Kliphoogte (-AA), Bayer 4677 (NBG); Leeurivier (-AB), Bayer 1700 (NBG); Brakfontein (-AC), Bayer 2547 (NBG); Beyersdal (-AD), Bayer 2556 (NBG); Haarwegskloof (-AD), Bayer 5101 (NBG); W. Kathoek (-AD), Bayer & Bruyns 6566 (NBG), Burgers 2581 (NBG); E. Kathoek (-AD), Bayer & Bruyns 6561 (NBG); N. Potberg (-BC), Bayer & Bruyns 6544 (NBG), Bayer & Bruyns 6545 (NBG).

d. var. toonensis var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3420 (Bredasdorp): Matjestoon (-BB), Smith 6797 (NBG, Holo.).

toonensis: abbreviation for origin at Matjestoon.

Differs in the more recurved leaves with a distinct transparent end-area to the leaves.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): Matjestoon (-BB), Smith 156, 6797 (NBG), Bayer 1698 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 15. Haworthia herbacea

15. Haworthia herbacea (Mill.) Stearn, Cactus J. 7:40(1938).  Bayer, Nat.Cact.Succ.J 27:51(1972).  Bayer :122(1976).  Bayer :42(1982).  Aloe herbacea Mill., Gardeners Dictionary :n18(1768).  Type: icon, 130:t131 Boerhaave Index Alter Pl. (1720).  Epitype (B&M): CAPE-3319(Worcester): N. Ribbokkop (-DC), Bayer 161 (NBG):  A. atrovirens D.C., Pl.Gras. :f81(1799).  H. atrovirens (D.C.) Haw., Revis. :57(1821).  Type: as above:  A. arachnoidea var. pumila Aiton, Hort.Kewensis 1:468(1789).  Willd., Spec.Pl. 2:188(1799).  A. pumila (Willd.) Haw., Trans.Linn.Soc. 7:10(1804).  H. pumila (Willd.) Duval, Pl.Succ.Hort.Alenc. :7(1809).  Haworth, Syn.Pl.Succ. :95(1811).  Type: as above (Linnaeus, Aloe pumila var. E):  Aloe translucens Haw., Trans.Linn.Soc. 7:10(1804).  H. pellucens Haw., Syn.Pl.Succ. :96(1812).  Aloe arachnoidea var. translucens (Haw.) Ker-G., Curtis’ Bot.Mag. t.1417(1811).  H. translucens Haw., Suppl.Pl.Succ. :52(1819).  H. arachnoidea (L.) Duv. sensu Scott, Cact.Succ.J(U.S.) 49:205(1977).  Scott, Aloe 16:41(1978).  Scott :39(1985).  Type: Cape, Masson.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): icon. :t.1417 Curtis’ Bot. Mag.:  H. pallida Haw., Revis.:56(1821).  Type: Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): icon (K):  H. aegrota V.Poelln., Desert Pl.Life 11:193(1939).  Type: Cape, Worcester, Swellendam etc. H. Venter.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): icon (B):  H. submaculata idem.  Type: Cape, Worcester, etc. H. Venter 5.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): icon (B):  H. luteorosea Uitew., Cact.en Vetpl. 5:88(1939).  Type: ex Hort, Holland.  Not preserved.H. arachnoidea (L.) Duval sensu Scott, Cact. Succ. J. (US) 49:205 (1977).

herbacea: yellow-green.

Rosette stemless, proliferating, to 8cm φ.  Leaves erect, incurved, scabrid, margins and keel with firm spines, greenish yellow in colour, reticulate patterning with translucent interstices.  Inflorescence simple, to 300mm.  Flowers large, beige, pinkish tips, buds bi-arcuate.

1982 – The choice of the name herbacea is possibly a poor one as this name is associated with a number of perhaps incompatible early illustrations.  Scott’s selection of the name arachnoidea is equally dubious particularly as it also ignores the flower character.  H. herbacea occurs only in the Worcester area extending in the southeast to east of McGregor, south into the mountains at Villiersdorp where a large flowered form occurs and to just northwest of Worcester itself.  It is very close to H. reticulata and southwest of Robertson it is often difficult to know with which species one is dealing.  However, H. herbacea usually has beige flowers, the plants are usually solitary, more deeply sunk in the ground, less proliferous and more hairy than H. reticulata.  At De Wet the two species grow together and there are distinct hybrids.  There are at least two other localities where both species grow in close association without hybridisation.  H. herbacea flowers in late winter (September‑October) and has an unusually large flower.  The Villiersdorp mountain form collected by E. Esterhuysen, has a particularly impressive flower but has not been introduced into cultivation.  H. herbacea has a direct connection with H. maculata at the Brandvlei Dam south of Worcester.  The size of the plant varies from 80mm in diameter to as little as 35mm near McGregor where the flowers may also be pinkish.

1999 – Nomenclature is indeed a slippery slope and this is a case in point.  The name pumila which Duval applied in Haworthia, was based on Boerhaave’s early illustration as can be traced through a tortuous synonymy.  It is in my opinion now invalid in the genus Haworthia, because the same type is used for the name herbacea.  (see also Haworthia margaritifera).  Apart from this nomenclatural tangle, the application of the name to a naturally occurring element is a problem.  The Boerhaave illustration can perhaps be better related to Haworthia maraisii than to the species for which I have used the name.  The earlier epithet atrovirens would have been a far better choice for that species had it been available.  Rather than make this unfortunate change, and then also using the name translucens for this species, I am following a principle of conservation and letting sleeping dogs lie.  It is enough that Col Scott has unfortunately confounded the issue by his use of the name H. arachnoidea for this species, without the acknowledgment in synonymy that may have clarified the issue.

The type nominated by Breuer and Metzing for H. translucens is based on the 1982 Handbook interpretation, where the name was applied incorrectly.  It is apparent that H. translucens Haw. as perceived in 1819, includes the Botanical Magazine illustration cited above.  This must be related to H. herbacea as understood here now.


a. var. herbacea.
The typical variety is widespread and relatively homogeneous throughout its range.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Karoo Garden (-CB), Dobay 62 (NBG), Barker 8766 (NBG); Veld Reserve (-CB)., Olivier 129 (NBG, PRE), Pamphlet 44 (NBG); W. Worcester (-CB), Searle in NBG162/84 (NBG), Bayer 2421 (NBG); Brandwacht (-CB), Bayer in KG166/70 (NBG); SE. Brandvlei Dam (-CB), Bayer 2422 (NBG); W. Doornrivier (-CD), Bayer 1995 (NBG), Leipoldt (BOL); Lemoenpoort (-CD), Bayer 1996(NBG); N. Lemoenpoort (-CD), Bayer 4439 (NBG); Patryskloof, Mauve & Oliver 243 (NBG); De Wet (-DA), van Heerden 1024 (NBG); Rabiesberg (-DA), Esterhuysen & Lewis in NBG2689/35 (NBG); Ribbokkop (-DC), Bayer 161 (NBG); Keerweerder, Jonaskop (-DC), Bayer 2697 (NBG); Nuy (-DC), Hurling & Neil (BOL); Mowers (-DC), Bayer in KG218/70 (NBG); Wansbek (-DC), Bayer 1997 (NBG), Moffett in KG181/70; Rabiesdal (-DD), Heunis 1 (NBG); Koningsrivier (-DD), Bayer in KG 329/70 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Marloth 8912 (PRE); Worcester, Smith 3910 (NBG), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Venter 4 (BOL), Joubert 1 (BOL); Worcester to Robertson, Venter 5, 7 (BOL); ex hort, Leipoldt (BOL), Logan (BOL), Starke in BOL24591, Venter in NBG215/39, Aryer’s nursery (BOL); Ross-Frames in NBG78/44; Bonnievale, Malherbe in NBG297/40, van der Merwe 174 (BOL); Riversdale, Ferguson (BOL).

b. var. flaccida var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3319 (Worcester): Rooiberg (-DD), P.V.Bruyns 7114 (NBG, Holo.).

flaccidus: weak, soft.

Differs from the species in being small and delicate.  There is considerable variation among the plants in habitat.  (A var. herbacea foliis parvioribus et virellis differt).

The habitat of this variety is on steep north-facing rocks where the plants occur in small very dense clusters.  They co-occur with H. maraisii and with H. reticulata.  The former is on the same rock face but not as exposed, while the latter occurs on slopes both lower down and higher up on the mountainh.  The locality is outside the known northeast distribution of the species.  There are very few plants and the habitat is uncharacteristic of any of the species in the Southern Cape.  The flower is outwardly identical to that of H. herbacea as is also that of H. pubescens.  The flowering time co-incides with that of the latter but there is very little vegetative similarity.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Rooiberg (-DD), P.V. Bruyns 7114 (NBG).

c. var. lupula var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3319 (Worcester): Boscheveld Mt., Wolfkloof, Villiersdorp (-CD), E. Esterhuysen (NBG, Holo.).

lupula: small wolf as reference to origin.

Distinctive for the larger pink flower, and for the broader, shorter leaves which are more finely flecked and slightly less scabrid than the typical.

This variety was first collected by Elsie Esterhuysen who specialised in the flora of the Cape mountains.  It occurs in sandstones, which is not unique for this species as it is also in sandstones south of McGregor.  The occurrence is at the southwestern limits of the species.  This is one of the elements which  recurs through the Cape mountains and which suggest a common ancestry from here for at least the subgenus Haworthia.  The similarities to H. vlokii, H. mirabilis var. consanguinea, H. maculata, H. variegata var. modesta (on the Potberg Mountain) and to H. turgida at high altitude are notable.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Boscheveld Mt., Villiersdorp (-CD), E. Esterhuysen (NBG); Wolfkloof, Villiersdorp (-CD), Bayer 2579 (NBG).

d. var. paynei (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. paynei  V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:206(1937).  H. pallida var. paynei V.Poelln., Cactus J 6:19(1937).  Type: Cape, McGregor district, G. Payne.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3319 (Worcester): Olifantsdoorn, McGregor (-DD), Bayer 4430 (NBG).

paynei: for G. Payne.

Mr George Payne accumulated an extraordinary collection of plants prior to the war and subsequently lost interest. This variety named after him is indeed different for its small size and for the bi-coloured flower which is pink above and white below.  It is on the southeastern limits of the species and a still smaller proliferous form has been reported in the area.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): McGregor (-DD), Payne in PRE 27254, in PRE 34948, Bayer 695/69 (NBG); 1km S. McGregor (-DD), Bayer (NBG); Near McGregor (-DD), Smith 3978, 7196 (NBG); 3km E. McGregor (-DD), Scott 2203 (PRE); Olifantsdoorn, McGregor (-DD) Bayer 4430 (NBG).

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).


Haworthia Revisited – 17. Haworthia maculata

17. Haworthia maculata (V.Poelln.) Bayer :130(1976).  Bayer :43(1982).  H. schuldtiana var. maculata V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov.49:25(1940).  Type: Cape, Worcester, Swellendam etc. H. Venter 6a.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): Worcester, Venter 6 (BOL).

maculata: spotted.

Rosette stemless, proliferous, to 8cm φ.  Leaves many, sub-erect to spreading, purplish-green, spotted, short spines on margins and keel.  Inflorescence simple, slender.  Flowers 15-20, few open, white, yellowish in throat, green veined.

1982 – The original locality for this species was not accurately recorded but it was collected by Major H. Venter, and so it is possible from Smith’s and Long’s records to trace it to the Brandvlei Dam south of Worcester.  H. maculata flowers in October/November and the form of the flower is like that of H. herbacea and H. reticulata, rather than like that of H. magnifica (H. schuldtiana).  There is a clear intergradation with H. herbacea in the area, and the plants are very similar to H. herbacea except that there are fewer and more turgid leaves.  H. maculata also occurs further south in a similar quartzitic rock formation to that at Brandvlei Dam.  A problem is the occurrence of populations apparently of H. maculata in the mountains to the north of Worcester (both high altitude ‑ Audenberg Peak, and low altitude ‑ at Sandhills).  A similar element occurs eastward towards Robertson at Buitenstekloof, distinguished again from H. magnifica by an earlier flowering time and the wide spread of the tips of the upper perianth lobes.

1999 – It is difficult to know just what is present on the higher mountains.  Few succulentophiles are also mountaineers, and besides the plants could be expected to be on rocky north faces which may not attract the conventional high altitude botanist.  H. nortieri bears some resemblance to H. maculata and that species is found as far south as Opdieberg (Ceres).  It is quite probable that populations may occur elsewhere in the area between Worcester and Citrusdal.


a. var. maculata
This variety seems to be linked to H. herbacea with possible ties to H. nortieri.  The similarity to other high mountain forms (eg H. vlokii and H. turgida) cannot be overlooked and this has been repeated at several places in this book.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Brandvlei Dam (‑CB), Bayer 164 (NBG), Smith 3912 (NBG); Bayer in KG669/69 (NBG); NE. Brandvlei Dam (-CB), Bayer 2591 (NBG); Audensberg Peak (-CB), Esterhuysen 16706 (BOL), Bayer 1119 (NBG); Moddergat (-CD), Bayer 1145 (NBG); Keeromsberg, Boskloof (-DA), BOL28719; S. Sandhills (-DA), Bayer 1120 (NBG).

b. var. intermedia (V.Poelln.) Bayer stat.nov. 
H. intermedia V.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 9:133(1937).  V.Poell., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:233(1938).  Type: Cape, Robertson, McGregor, G.J. Payne  Not preserved.  Lectotype (designated here): Epitype (designated here): CAPE-3319 (Worcester): Buitenstekloof (-DC), Bayer 4461 (NBG).

intermedia: between.

In the case of this variety, Payne (priv. comm.) did indicate the actual origin at Buitenstekloof west of Robertson.  Von Poellnitz’ later citation for Scottburgh, Port Elizabeth, as well, is indicative of the close resemblance of even very different species and the difficulties which arise in trying to identify them consistently and correctly.  In his discussion von Poellnitz concluded that while the plants had the long end-awn of H. mucronata, the reticulated patterning of the leaves was that of the H. reticulata group.  The name suggests the difficulty in deciding just what to do with this element.  It co-occurs with H. reticulata and with H. arachnoidea and bears a very close resemblance to the shale form of H. maraisii var. notabilis.  As already noted it has a different flower and flowering time to that variety.  Nevertheless it may be correct to place them together in one species as there is also a population recorded mid-way between the two at Agtervink.  Possibly a more direct link with H. turgida should be sought as the plants do bear a close resemblance to the montane forms of that species.  Certainly it is possible that there may be a connection somewhere in the mountains between Robertson and Swellendam.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Buitenstekloof (-DC), Bayer 4461 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 18. Haworthia magnifica

18. Haworthia magnifica V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 33:239(1933).  Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :44(1982).  H. maraisii var. magnifica (V.Poelln.) Bayer :131(1976).  Type: Cape, Riversdale commonage, Mrs E. Ferguson.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): Riversdale, Ferguson (BOL).

magnifica: magnificent.

Rosette stemless, slowly proliferous, to 8 cm φ.  Leaves spreading, retused to ground level, dark green to purplish, scabrid to finely spined margins, end-area slightly translucent between the veins, surfaces with small slightly raised tubercles.  Inflorescence slender, to 40cm.  Flowers brownish veined, few open, upper lobes pinched at tips.

1982 – Haworthia magnifica is an incredibly variable species and it will not be possible to gain any insight into probable affinities with H. turgida, H. retusa, H. emelyae and H. mirabilis without in‑depth study.  It is characterized by its dark‑green colour, small size, short green‑lined buds and flowers, and ‘fish‑tail’ bud tips.  It flowers in March ‑ April although this varies and only serves as a character to distinguish the species from H. mirabilis.  Only the more notable and widely spread forms are recognized as varieties here.  There are several other populations which could justly be named as varieties.  The variety major has an unusually large flower similar to that of H. emelyae and there is evidence of intergradation of these two taxa.  The var. paradoxa may constitute a south‑eastern link between H. magnifica and H. mirabilis, except that truer forms of H. magnifica var. maraisii intercede along the Breede River and at Bredasdorp.  The var. maraisii at its type locality at Stormsvlei is quite a robust form which adopts many guises in the Robertson/Worcester area.  South of Stormsvlei there is an aberrant population which appears intermediate between the var maraisii and H. mirabilis.  However, just north of Stormsvlei, H. mirabilis occurs in a small, many‑leaved form.  The var. meiringii appears vegetatively very like a smaller, darker green version of H. herbacea, until it flowers.  Also to the west it intergrades into the more characteristic retuse‑leaved var. maraisii.  The var. notabilis also has erect leaves which are darker green and more turgid than in the case of H. herbacea.  The var. atrofusca was originally collected from west of Riversdale and is characterized by its rounded leaf tips.  The var. magnifica has unusually long acuminate leaf tips and is restricted to a small area southeast of Riversdale, recurring again just west of Heidelberg.  H. magnifica has been recorded north of both Montagu and Barrydale and as far south as Cape Infanta and westwards to Bredasdorp.  Consideration of the variability of this species and distribution of variants is very helpful towards understanding variability in the genus as a whole.

1996 – The comment ‘in-depth study’ is quite inappropriate in the Haworthia literature which generally suffers from any formal objective study.  What has happened since 1982 is much further collecting which has brought some new perceptions.  The problems with this species are exemplified by Scott’s circumscription and synonymy of H. asperula where it is barely possible to separate all the diverse elements included in it.  Esterhuizen wrote in ALOE (1996) that it was easier for him to separate the var. atrofusca from var. maraisii, than from magnifica.  This perspicacious observation is all the more so for the new collections from east of Riversdale, and also for the changed view of H. heidelbergensis.  It has been decided to separate the elements maraisii and magnifica because it appears that they relate to each other as H. heidelbergensis does to H. mirabilis.  It is also more realistic that some of the varieties that were with magnifica are rather variants of H. maraisii.  Thus H. magnifica is applied to the eastern populations which are rather more robust and in which the end-area of the leaf is longer and more pointed.  If the end-area is shortened it is also rounded.  H. magnifica is usually more greenish than the nearly black H. maraisii.  Where previously  considering H. retusa as a major element has led to problems, the perception that H. turgida and H. magnifica are the main role players makes it easier to understand what the different populations may represent.  This should be apparent from the varieties recognised here, and in the corresponding discussion.


a. var. magnifica.
Originally from only south of Riversdale.  The name is now also applied to the population from south of the Tradouw Pass, and to that just east of Riversdale.  These are quite robust plants with rather scabrid, sub-tuberculate leaves with denticulation of the margins at least.  The surfaces may also be slightly scabrid with the tubercles bearing small spines.  The plants are lighter green in colour than H. maraisii.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): Tradouw Pass (-BA), Smith 6788 (NBG).  3421 (Riversdale): S. Riversdale at beacon (-AA), Smith 5372 (NBG), Bayer in KG83/71 (NBG); Reserve (‑AB), J. Dekenah 16 (NBG); E. Riversdale (-AB), Smith 5376, 5376a, 5748 (NBG), Bayer in KG92/71 (NBG); Riversdale (-AB), Dekenah 6a (PRE); (-AB), Smith 5372 (PRE); Riversdale (-AB), Muir 3553 (PRE).

Inadequately located: Riversdale, Smith 3900, 5057 (NBG).

b. var. acuminata comb.nov. 
H. retusa forma acuminata Bayer :94(1976).  H. retusa var. acuminata Bayer :53(1982).  Type: CAPE‑3421 (Riversdale): N. of Gouritzmond (‑BD), Bayer in KG 311/7 (NBG).

acuminata: sharp pointed.

Previously under H. retusa, this variety has been transferred here because of the now restricted view of that species, and the new concept of H. magnifica.  It is only known from the one locality as the original nearby locality appears to have been destroyed.

Distribution: 3421(Riversdale): N. of Gouritzmond (‑BD), Bayer in KG 311/7 (NBG), Bayer 2423 (NBG); S. Gouritz Bridge (-BD), Smith 5047 (NBG); 9.5km Gouritz to Albertskraal (-BD), Smith 3946 (NBG).

c.var. atrofusca (Smith) Bayer
Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :44(1982).  H. atrofusca Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 14:41(1948).  Bayer :100(1976).  Scott :130(1985).  Type: CAPE‑3421 (Riversdale): (‑AA), J. Dekenah 225 in Smith 6169 (NBG).

atrofusca: very dark brown.

This variety was represented by a single small population to the west of Riversdale and characterised by the blunt rounded leaf-tips.  This is in effect a single character which occurs in other populations and other species.  The scope of the variety is widened to include the large element to the north and west of Riversdale collected mostly by C. Craib (unpublished).  These are large brownish-green to blackish plants which are densely and finely tubercled against a scarcely translucent background.  The original variety and populations to the west include forms with sharply pointed leaves.  There is a very interesting population in the Potberg area to the west of the Breede River.  The habitat is identical to that of the type locality.  It is very unusual to encounter such a vicariant distribution record in the genus where isolated plants so closely resemble the type.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): NW. Kathoek (-AD), Bayer & Bruyns 6549 (NBG).  3421(Riversdale): (‑AA), J. Dekenah 225 in Smith 6169 (NBG), Bayer in KG202/70 (NBG); Droerivier (-AA), Bayer 2665 (NBG).

d. var. dekenahii (Smith) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. dekenahii Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 10:140(1944).  H. retusa var. dekenahii (Smith) Bayer :53(1982).  Type: Cape, on farm Draaihoek (-BA), J. Dekenah 86 in Smith 5489 (NBG).

dekenahii: for Japie Dekenah, a born naturalist.

This element as a species was completely discarded in the 1976 handbook and resurrected as a variety of H. retusa in 1982.  Col. Scott upholds it as a species but illustrates H. turgida var. pallidifolia which co-occurs with it.  The significant things about this variety are the raised tubercles on the leaves, the silver flecks, and the blunt rounded leaf-tips.

Distribution: 3421 (Riversdale): Draaihoek (-BA), J. Dekenah 86 in Smith 5489 (BOL,NBG,PRE).

e. var. splendens Hammer and Venter
Cact.Succ.J(U.S.) in ms.  Type: W. Albertinia (-BA), Venter (NBG).

splendens: splendid.

The name is indeed apt.  I first saw this plant in about 1970 in a visit to Dr Hans Herre.  I simply assumed the unlabelled pinkish-red plant with the shiny black raised tubercles was an unusual specimen of H. emelyae which itself was practically unknown to me at that time.  The full story of this variety is better told by the authors whose persistence and tenacity led to its rediscovery at what is presumed to be a second locality – the first apparently having been destroyed.  Strangely enough a further population was discovered fatefully, and perhaps fortuitously, by Mary Parisi and Ed Dunne to the east of Albertinia.  The word fatefully are used with some deliberation because these two people deliberately avoided the contamination of plans aforethought in wanting to do their own exploration and discovery.  This eastern population flowers earlier together with the var. acuminata and also with H. emelyae.  There is obviously some significance to this which implies some cross-mountain connection and throws some doubt on the relation of the H. emelyae varieties.

Distribution: 3421 (Riversdale): E. Albertinia (-BA), Marx sn. (NBG); W. Albertinia (-BA), Venter (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 19. Haworthia maraisii

19. Haworthia maraisii V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 38:194(1935).  idem. 43:104(1938).  Bayer :141(1976).  H. magnifica var. maraisii (V.Poelln.) Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :44,106(1982).  Type: Cape, Swellendam, Marais in Swellendam 6410.  Lectotype (Bayer, 1976): Icon (B):  H. schuldtiana V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:211(1937).  idem. 43:102(1938).  idem. 49:23(1940).  Type: Cape, Robertson, SW. McGregor G.J. Payne in Triebn. 903.  Lectotype (Bayer, 1976): icon (B):  H. schuldtiana var. robertsonensis idem. 49:25(1940).  V.Poelln., Des.Pl.Life 9:101(1937).  Type: Cape, Robertson, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 991.  Not preserved:  H. schuldtiana var. minor Triebn. et V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 49:25(1940).  Type: Cape, McGregor, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1096.  Not preserved:  H. schuldtiana var. subtuberculata V.Poelln. ibid. 49:26(1940).  Type: Cape, N. McGregor, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1089.  Not preserved:  H. whitesloaneana V.Poelln., Desert.Pl.Life 9:102(1937). idem Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 43:107(1938).  H. schuldtiana var. whitesloaneana V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 49:26(1940).  Type: Cape, McGregor, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1021.  Not preserved. Lectotype (Bayer, 1976): icon (B):  H. schuldtiana var. sublaevis idem. 49:26(1940).  Type: Cape, loc. unknown, Beukman in Long 690.  Not preserved:  H. schuldtiana var. simplicior idem. 49:26(1940).  Type: Cape, Malgas, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1112.  Not preserved.  H. schuldtiana var. unilineata idem. 49:26(1940).  Type: Cape, N. McGregor, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1089.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): McGregor (-DD), Payne in PRE34897:  H. sublimpidula V.Poelln., Cactus J 5:33(1936). idem. Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. ibid. 41:212(1937).  idem. 43:105(1938).  idem. Beitr.Zukk.Pfl. 1:45(1939).  Type: Cape, Swellendam, Hurling in Triebn. 847. Not preserved. Lectotype (Bayer, 1976): icon.B:  H. triebneriana var. diversicolor Triebn. et V.Poelln. ibid. 47:9(1939).  Type: Cape, Olifantsdoorn, McGregor, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1092. Not preserved.  Neotype: CAPE-3319 (Worcester): Olifantsdoorn Kloof (-DD), Payne in PRE34881:  H. angustifolia var. subfalcata V.Poelln.  Sukkulentenkunde 4(1951), nom. inval.

maraisii: for W.R.B. Marais.

Rosette stemless, slowly proliferous, 4-7cm φ.  Leaves few to many, very dark green, opaque, usually retused, scabrid with small raised tubercles, tubercles occasionally spined, margins and keel with small spines.  Inflorescence slender, to 30cm.  Flowers outer upper lobes pinched, frequently yellow throated.

This species was previously treated under H. magnifica and it is now taken out as the smaller darker range of populations from Heidelberg westwards.  It is a very common element which is seldom abundant at any one locality.  It co-occurs with H. heidelbergensis, H. herbacea, H. reticulata, H. turgida, and H. mutica of the same sub-genus.  It is found close to H. mirabilis but it does not co-occur with this species and there are two populations known which appear to be intermediate.

Breuer and Metzing note that a lectotype for H. maraisii was designated by Bayer (1982), when in fact a Berlin-Dahlem illustration was regarded as a type by virtue of the non-preservation of anything else.  It is highly unlikely that there was any other preserved material.  They nominate presumably the same illustration as a lectotype.  Then they state that this illustrations is not original material in the sense of the code, but also that a lectotype must be chosen from the original material.

a. var. maraisii.
The variety is typified by a rather robust form at Stormsvlei whereas it is generally a little smaller elsewhere.  Note can be made of forms near Robertson which are rather similar to H. pubescens, forms near Bonnievale in which the leaves are rather guttate (spotted), and to near Eilandia which have short erect leaves.  The Bonnievale plants are particularly difficult because of a number of populations which are uncharacteristic and vary from the recognisable H. maraisii var. meiringii to a small form which co-occurs with the typical variety.  Even the possibility of interaction with H. heidelbergensis cannot be excluded.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Trappieskraalkloof (-DC), Bayer 1210 (NBG); Langkloof (-DC), Bayer 1215 (NBG), Moffett (NBG); Dublin (-DC), Stayner in KG400/61 (NBG); S. Goudmyn Bridge (-DD), Bayer in KG163/70 (NBG); Goudmyn (-DD), Bayer 1216 (NBG); 18km Robertson to Bonnievale (-DD), Bayer in KG46/70 Langvlei (-DD), Scott 2211 (PRE); 5km E. McGregor (-DD), Payne & Scott 22 (PRE); 1.5km S. Robertson (-DD), Scott 2210 (PRE); Muiskraalkop (-DD), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Bayer 1707 (NBG); McGregor (-DD), Payne in PRE34883, Smith 3977, 5606, 5765, 5774 (NBG), Triebn. 1089 in Smith 5767 (NBG); W. McGregor (-DD), Bayer 4437 (NBG); McGregor (-DD), Payne in PRE34897; Vrolijkheid (-DD), UPE 3207 (PRE); SE. McGregor (-DD), Smith 3975 (NBG); S. McGregor (-DD), Bayer 1222 (NBG); Olifantsdoorn Kloof (-DD), Payne in PRE34881, Smith 5774 (NBG); Houtbaai Kloof (-DD), Payne in PRE 34887, Smith 5766 (NBG); Bayer & Stayner 2271 (NBG); W. Robertson (-DD), Bayer 1211, 1703, in KG628/69 (NBG); Bonnievale to Robertson (-DD), Smith 3980 (NBG); Skurweberg (-DD),Bayer 1221 (NBG); SW. Robertson (-DD), Smith 3987 (NBG), Bayer in KG688/69 (NBG); 9km W. Robertson (-DD), Bayer in KG630/69, in KG345/71 (NBG); Klaasvoogds (-DD), Smith 398, 2836 (NBG), Bayer 1220 (NBG).  3320 (Montagu): Dobbelaarskloof (-CB), Bruyns (NBG); N. Ashton (-CC), Bayer 1708 (NBG); Goedverwacht (-CC), Bayer 2177 (NBG); N. Drew (-CC), Bayer 1219 (NBG); Drew (–CC), De Kok 295 (NBG); Cogmanskloof (-CC), Littlewood in KG520/60 (NBG); 6km N. Drew (-CC), Smith 5615 (NBG); Bonnievale (-CC), Marloth 14186 (PRE); Barrydale (-DC), Smith 7353 (NBG), Bolus (BOL), Hurling & Neil (BOL).  3419 (Caledon): N. Napier (-BD), Venter 3 (NBG).  3420 (Bredasdorp): Stormsvlei (-AA), Smith 2700, 2367, 5158, 5641 (NBG); 32km Swellendam to Caledon (-AA), Smith 3250, 3251 (NBG); 7km N. Stormsvlei (-AA), Bayer 1213 (NBG); Rondeheuwel (-AA), Bayer in KG326/71 (NBG); 19km N. Bredasdorp (-AC), Smith 5476 (NBG), Bayer in KG35/70 (NBG); Juliusfontein (-AD), Bayer 1221 (NBG); SW. Heidelberg (-BB), Bayer in KG104/74 (NBG); Skeiding (-BB), Smith 7219 (NBG); Ziekenhuis (-BC), Bruyns in KG49/76 (NBG); Potberg (-BC), Burgers 2506 (NBG); Infanta (-BD), Malherbe in NBG673/41 (NBG), Smith 5477 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Swellendam, Marais in STE6410 (NBG), Smith 5055 (NBG); Stormsvlei, Payne (NBG); Robertson, Payne (NBG), Malherbe in NBG172/41; Swellendam, Malherbe in NBG299/40; Bredasdorp, Barker in NBG698/33, Venter 18 (BOL); Stormsvlei to Bonnievale, Lewis in NBG2456/32 (BOL); Robertson, Esterhuysen (BOL), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Herre in STE6379 (BOL); Bonnievale, van der Merwe 94 (BOL); Bredasdorp, Venter 20 (BOL), Hurling & Neil (BOL).

b. var. meiringii Bayer
:134(1976).  H. magnifica var. meiringii Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :45(1982).  Type: CAPE‑3320 (Montagu): E. of Bonnievale (‑DC), Bayer in KG 224/70 (NBG).

meiringii: for P.L. Meiring.

1982 – The var. meiringii appears vegetatively very like a smaller, darker green version of H. herbacea, until it flowers.  Also to the west it intergrades into the more characteristic retuse‑leaved var. maraisii.

1999 – This variety has the growth form of H. herbacea but is a smaller darker green species with the same flowers and flowering time as H. maraisii.  It occurs east of Bonnievale, and westwards transposes to a more rigid-leaved form with erect thin scabrid leaves which practically co-occurs with the typical form of that species.  Immediately west of Bonnievale it appears to intermingle with H. heidelbergensis in dense populations.

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): W. Bonnievale (-DD), Smith 3822 (NBG).  3320 (Montagu): Bonnievale (-CC), Marloth 11855 (PRE); E. Bonnievale (‑CC), Smith 3948 (NBG), Bayer in KG 224/70 (NBG); W. Bonnievale (-CC), Bayer 1214, 1217 (NBG), Bayer in KG2/71 (NBG), Bayer 1218, in KG7/71, in KG9/71 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Bonnievale, Malherbe in Smith 3428 (NBG), Smith 5060 (NBG), van der Merwe 95 (BOL); ex hort, Hurling & Neil (BOL); Drew, Hurling & Neil (BOL).

c. var. notabilis (V.Poelln.) Bayer
:141(1976).  H. notabilis V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:134(1938):  H. magnifica var. notabilis  Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :45(1982).  Scott :146(1985).  Type: Cape, Wolfkloof, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1103.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon (B):  H. schuldtiana var. erecta Triebn. et V.Poelln. ibid. 49:25(1940).  Type: Cape, Bonnievale, Stellenbosch.  Not preserved:  H. nitidula var. opaca V.Poelln., Desert.Pl.Life 20:4(1948).  Type: Cape, Klaasvoogds.  Not preserved:

notabilis: noteworthy.

1982 – The variety notabilis (then of H. magnifica) also has erect leaves which are darker green and more turgid than in the case of H. herbacea.

1999 – There is difficulty in comparing this variety with H. maraisii.  The decision to place it here was taken on account of the variation at the type locality, the similarity of the flowers and flowering times, and also because of the forms originally seen at Klaasvoogds, which were darker and more compact than the more turgid of the Wolfkloof forms.  At Wolfkloof, a turgid, lighter green form grows on the east of the valley where it is on shales.  On the west side is a granite formation and the forms are very toothed and have longer more slender leaves.  There also appears to be a third form a little to the southwest which has the firmer textured leaves of H. reticulata which co-occurs there.  More than one population is now known at Klaasvoogds and the plants appear to vary substantially.  There is yet another population at Agtervink which is comparable to the Klaasvoogds and eastern Wolfkloof plants.  Finally there is H. maculata var. intermedia at Buitenstekloof which has a different flowering time.  It is these odd indistinctly related populations which appear to be influenced by ecotypic (largely geological) factors.  All the populations discussed here are on rocky sites associated with the great Worcester fault line and the granite and dolomite formations which are exposed there.

The original decision to include this element with var. maraisii was based on quite an extensive study of the flowers and flowering times of a wide range of populations in the Worcester/Robertson Karoo.  Variation within those populations which are more obviously of the var. maraisii, seemed to exceed that between them and var. notabilis.  Flowering time was also originally thought to have been a very strong character but it seems to break down here as it may in H. magnifica. 

Distribution: 3319 (Worcester): Wolfkloof, Robertson (‑DD), Smith 3984 (NBG, PRE), Scott 2204 (PRE), Bayer 1208, 1209 (NBG), Fourcade 166 (NBG), Fourcade 192 (NBG), Hurling & Neil in NBG 2115/37 (NBG); Robertson (-DD), Payne in PRE39466; Vinkrivier (-DD), Bayer 121 (NBG); Klaasvoogds (-DD), Stayner & Bayer in KG 638/69 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 20. Haworthia marumiana

20. Haworthia marumiana Uitew., Cact.Vetp. 6:33(1940), Nat.Cact.Succ.J 9:20(1947). Bayer :133(1976).  Bayer :23(1982).  non Scott :78(1985).  Type (see B&M): Cape, Ladismith and Mossel Bay, Stellenbosch 6610 and 7773 (AMD).

marumiana: in honour of Dr M. van Marum.

Rosette stemless, very proliferous, to 7cm φ.  Leaves erect, incurved, softish, margins and keel with spines, purplish-green in colour, opaque, with reticulate patterning.  Inflorescence simple, to 200mm.  Flowers smallish, white.

1982 – The distribution of this species is most interesting. Uitewaal gave the locality as Ladismith and also a second locality at Mossel Bay, both attributed to H. Herre.  A collection in the Kirstenbosch garden attributed to C. Luckhoff also appears to have been this species, and this was recorded as from Heidelberg, Cape.  Smith did not apply the name to any of his field collections.  The recorded localities are not borne out by any other records or collections and thus the origin remained something of a mystery.  In 1972 Mr C. McMaster informed the writer of a species growing in the mountains south of Tarkastad, and this proved to be the missing species.  It is a small very proliferous species and the only tetraploid so far recorded in the subgenus Haworthia.  The distribution is rather surprising as it occurs north of Tarkastad itself, at Cradock, Graaff-Reinet, New Bethesda, Murraysburg, Nelspoort and Beaufort West.  It is very possible that H. pearsonii may also have been this species as specimens of H. marumiana do have brown‑striped flowers.  However, this is not certain and H. pearsonii is regarded still as insufficiently known.  It is possible that H. batesiana is a glabrous form of H. marumiana.  H. archeri may be a southwestern variant of H. marumiana also, although the distance between known localities of these two species is rather great.  On the other hand the known localities of H. marumiana are also very disjunct.

1999 – Col. Scott again has a fairly valid point that H. archeri is actually the original H. marumiana particularly in respect of the localities associated with the latter name.  However, my contention expressed in several of my early writings, is that interpretation of species based on illustrations or only descriptions, with no solid herbarium record, are the foundations for contention.  If I could extend this argument I would add that proper weight must also be attached to the concept of a species which has distribution range and variation.  Secondly I also based my opinion on the plants received from several different sources as well as on plants in Smith’s collection ostensibly of the type, which I would have assigned to H. marumiana as I recognised it, and not to this southwestern counterpart.  Smith’s plants of this species were from various sources including Uitewaal.  Thirdly, it is evident from the herbarium record that the Stellenbosch Garden collection of Herre had included plants from the Nuweveld mountains at Beaufort West.  I could not locate the representative specimen which Scott cites (Scott 6354) in the PRE herbarium.  This species must also be considered together with H. cymbiformis var reddii in the Cathcart/Queenstown area.  H. marumiana is now regarded as a very variable and widely distributed species of the Central and Southern Karoo.

a.var. marumiana.
The range of this species has been extended considerably since even the New Handbook.  Several collections have been made far north of Queenstown and these are as different from the typical variety as var. archeri.  There seem to be two different elements.  One is from Sterkstroom and the Penhoek Pass in which the plants are quite large and with fine patterning on the leaves.  Other collection from north and northwest are of plants with more succulent turgid leaves, and somewhat more translucent in the leaf reticulation.

Distribution: 3124 (Hanover): 32km E. Murraysburg (-CC), Bayer (NBG); Krugerskraal (-CD), Branch 315 (NBG); Aasvoelkrans (-DC), Bayer 2356 (NBG).  3125 (Middelburg): Elandsberg, N. Cradock (-DC), James 178 (BOL).  3126(Queenstown): Sterkstroom (-BC), Bruyns 5043 (BOL); N. Tarkastad (-BD), Smith 3075 (NBG), Bayer 2038 (NBG); Penhoek Pass (-DA), Bruyns 5031 (NBG); Andriesberg (-DA), Galpin 2245 (BOL, PRE).  3221 (Merweville): Tierberg (-DD), Bayer 5209 (NBG), Bruyns 2880 (BOL).  3222 (Beaufort West): Wagenpadskloof (-AD), Shearing 1224 (PRE); Karoopark (-AD), Branch 42, 298 (NBG); Stolshoek (-AD), Bruyns 3381 (BOL); Molteno Pass (-BA), Bayer 2373 (NBG), Bruyns 2949 (BOL); Beaufort West (-BA), Smith 5394 (NBG); Nelspoort (BB), Grant in KG18/70 (NBG).  3224 (Graaff Reinet): Valley of Desolation (-AB), Muller-Doblies 78/134 (NBG), Bayer 2347 (NBG).  3225 (Somerset East): Mt. Zebra Nat.Park (-AB), Branch 45 (NBG); Karreebos (-BA), Long 1152 (PRE).  3226 (Fort Beaufort): Spring Valley (‑AB), Bayer 172 (NBG)

Inadequately located: ex hort, Smith 6940 (NBG); Cradock, Archer 873 (BOL).

b.var. archeri comb.nov. 
H. archeri Barker ex Bayer, JS.Afr.Bot. 47:791(1981).  Bayer :29(1982).  H. marumiana sensu Scott :78(1985).  Type: CAPE-3320 (Montagu): Whitehill (-BA), Archer in NBG 68145 (NBG).

archeri: for Mr J. Archer.

1982 – The specimen of H. archeri in the Compton Herbarium was suspected of originating anywhere but in the Whitehill area until collected there by Peter V. Bruyns in 1977.  It is a very small compact brownish green species reaching to 60mm in diameter.  The relationship to other species is very unclear and the other species in the same subgenus occurring in that area are H. arachnoidea, H. pehlemanniae, H. lockwoodii and H. wittebergensis.  An affinity with H. magnifica is highly unlikely because of the geographic barrier and floral differences.  It is very conceivable that it is related to H. marumiana which is, however, also not known nearer than in the Nuweveld mountains at Beaufort West.  Vegetatively the plants are almost identical to H. marumiana from as far afield as Tarkastad and Graaff-Reinet, and it is primarily floral differences and geographical distribution which justify its recognition.  It grows on Dwyka sandstones among karroid vegetation but on the cooler south slopes.  The Whitehill area west of Laingsburg is north of the Witteberg mountain range and technically lies on the border of the winter and summer rainfall areas.  However, it is most probable that H. archeri prefers a dry summer and what little moisture it can get, in the winter.  H. archeri is not proliferous, as is H. marumiana, and is so far unknown in cultivation.

1999 -The manuscript name by Miss Barker was intended for Mr Archer who initially curated the Karoo Botanic Garden when it was still situated at Whitehill.   This element has proved decidedly more common than first supposed and also proven to be very proliferous.  It has been since also found at several places in the greater Sutherland, Merweville, and Frazerburg areas, and this seems to confirm the connection with H. marumiana.  The two varieties come very close together geographically at Prince Albert too, where some populations are still within recognisable range as var. marumiana (albeit with more distinctive patterning on the leaves).  The reticulate patterning on the leaves in the var. archeri  appears to be generally finer than is the case with var. marumiana and the leaves are less flaccid., but the var. archeri has less marking on the leaves than is generally the case.  The leaves also tend to curve outward and are a little more scabrid.  The var. archeri thus is fairly common on the higher-lying areas between the Rooiberg Pass (S. Laingsburg) and to well north of Sutherland.  There is a high degree of variation across that range, and one collection from near the Floriskraal Dam is glabrous and very like a small glabrous form of H. arachnoidea var. nigricans.  There is also a population in the Gamkapoort area which has broader leaves and less spination.  The flat elevation of the upper petals seems to be distinctive and there is an odd occurrence of the petal presentation in some populations where the plants would otherwise be regarded as simply H. arachnoidea.

Distribution: 3221 (Frazerburg): Tafelberg (-AA), Bruyns 4846 (PRE); Riethuisies (-AD), Bruyns 5970 (BOL); Oukloof Pass (-BB), Bruyns 3995 (BOL); Langberg (-CA), Bayer 2453 (NBG); Klipfontein (-CC), Bruyns 3109 (NBG).  3320 (Montagu): Baviaan, Laingsburg (-BA), Bruyns 1405 (NBG);  Matjiesfontein hills (-BA), Archer in NBG68145, Scott 3420 (PRE); Ghaapkop (-BA), Bruyns 1664 (NBG).  3321 (Ladismith): Bosluiskloof (-BC), Bruyns 3723 (BOL).

Inadequately located: ex hort, Whitehill (NBG).

c.var. batesiana (Uitew.) Bayer comb.nov
H. batesiana Uitew., Nat.Cact.Succ.J 3:101(1948).  Bayer :101(1976).  Bayer :30(1982).  Scott :100(1985).  Type (see B&M): Cape, Graaff-Reinet, Ferguson (AMD).

batesiana: in honour of G. Bates.

1982 – As it is presently known, H. batesiana is an unusual and distinctive small species of up to 5cm in diameter recorded from the Valley of Desolation near Graaff-Reinet.  It is smooth, bright green with a light reticulate pattern on the leaves.  It also offsets very freely to form large clumps.  A recent collection by Prof. D. Muller-Doblies from the Valley of Desolation consisted of still smaller darker green plants (up to only 25 mm in diameter) in a tighter rosette of spined leaves.  These clearly belong to H. marumiana and also fit into the distribution pattern for that species.  The writer has not succeeded in finding H. batesiana in the field, but a collection from Klipplaat northwest of Cathcart is clearly comparable.  However, the plants there are too robust to be regarded as H. batesiana and it appears that there is a tendency towards H. cymbiformis.  The possibility of H. batesiana being only a glabrous variant of H. marumiana  cannot be ruled out; this is also suggested by a collection of the latter species from south of New Bethesda.

1999 – Several collections of this variety are now known.  These are by J. Bouwer in the Valley of Desolation, a collection by P.V. Bruyns from the Kamdeboo mountain, and another collection also by P.V. Bruyns from Tandjiesberg to the east of Graaff-Reinet.  In both these latter collections the plants vary quite considerably and are all glabrous.  The Klipplaat (Waterdown Dam) population is assigned to H. cymbiformis var. reddii.

Distribution: 3224 (Graaff-Reinet):  Valley of Desolation (-AB), Hurling and Neil in NBG68978, Smith 6955 (NBG), Bouwer (NBG), Scott 985 (PRE); Kamdebooberg (-AC), Bruyns 2978 (NBG); Uitkomst (-AD), Bruyns 2994 (NBG); Tandjiesberg (-BC), Bruyns 3245 (NBG,BOL).

d.var. dimorpha comb. nov. 
H. archeri var. dimorpha Bayer, JS.Afr.Bot. 47:793(1981).  Bayer :29(1982).  Type: CAPE-3320 (Montagu): Constable Station, W. Laingsburg (-AD), H. Hall in Smith 7418 (NBG).

dimorpha: two shapes.

1982 – The variety dimorpha (of H. archeri) has much fewer leaves, which in cultivation both grow much larger (up to 120 mm diam.) and flex outward.  This variety grows west of the typical variety and occurs in fynbos vegetation on Table Mountain Sandstone.”

1999 – Not much more light has been thrown on this variant.  There has been no evidence of a connection to H. nortieri to the west.  There have been some indications that a hard spinescent form resembling H arachnoidea occurs which has the same floral characters.  Attention should perhaps be paid to the block patterned reticulation that occurs in the seed capsules of this species and also in H. pulchella.  Interestingly, the same white tubercles which characterise this variety, also occur in the population of var. archeri cited above from Riethuisies in the Frazerburg area.

Distribution: 3320 (Montagu): Constable Station, W. Laingsburg (-AD), H. Hall in Smith 7418 (NBG).

e.var. viridis var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3322 (Oudtshoorn): S. Prince Albert, Bayer 3620 (NBG, Holo.).

virida: green.

Differs from the typical in being light-green with narrower, more-erect leaves.  (A var. marumiana foliis erectis angustioribus subviridibus differt).

Plants collected by P.V. Bruyns at Vrischgewaagd west of Prince Albert, are brighter green than normal and the rosettes are fairly tight and reminiscent of H. pulchella, which is a much more scabrid species. The reticulate patterning on the leaves is still apparent.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): Vrischgewaagd (-BD), Bruyns 6252 (BOL).SW. Kliphuisvlei (-BD), Thompson 2166 (PRE).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): S. Prince Albert (-AC), Krige (BOL), Bayer 3620 (NBG), Bruyns 2601 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 21. Haworthia mirabilis

21. Haworthia mirabilis Haw., Syn.Pl Succ. :95(1812).  Bayer :136(75).  Bayer :47(1982).  Bayer, Excelsa 7:37(1977).  pp. Scott :116(1985).  Aloe mirabilis Haw., Trans.Linn.Soc. 7:9(1804).  Ker-G., Curtis’ Bot.Mag. t1354(1811).  Type: Cape, Masson.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): Icon t1354, Curtis’ Bot.Mag.:  H. mundula Smith, JS.Afr.Bot. 12:8(1946).  H. mirabilis ssp. mundula (Smith) Bayer :139(1976).  Bayer :47(1982).  Type: CAPE‑3419 (Caledon): Mierkraal, Bredasdorp (‑DB), M. Otzen 10 in Smith 5479 (NBG).

mirabilis: wonderful.

Rosette stemless, proliferous, to 7cm φ.  Leaves 10-15, retused, 3-4cm X 1,5cm, markedly retused, acute above, face translucent and lined, dark green, with marginal spines turning reddish in the sun.  Inflorescence slender.  Flowers narrow, elongate, biarcuate bud, upper lobes pinched at tips.

1982 – A full account of H. mirabilis is given in Excelsa (Bayer, 1977).  It is intimately associated with H. magnifica but the nature of the relationship is not fully understood.  The species grow near together at Stormsvlei and an intermediate population occurs a few miles to the south.  The species also approach one another near the Potberg at the mouth of the Breede River, at Bredasdorp and, unconfirmed, in the area east of Drew.  The initial distinction was that H. mirabilis (as H. triebnriana) was smooth on the leaf faces while H. magnifica was not.  H. mirabilis is generally a larger plant, and with more translucence in the leaves than H. magnifica.  The flower is a little larger and generally brown‑veined.  Several names such as H. willowmorensis, H. triebneriana, and H. rossouwii are placed under H. mirabilis on rather speculative grounds.  The synonymy thus indicates a very variable species and this is in fact so.  There are several places, notably at Bredasdorp and Napier, where ecological differences have resulted in forms very different from one another.  At Napier the differences are of such an order that the subspecies badia is recognised.  At Greyton, a form high in the mountains, with the typical flower of H. mirabilis, occurs.  For the present it is regarded as a variant of H. mirabilis.  There are also variants in the limestone formations of the coastal belt.  The subspecies mundula is a very proliferous variant south‑west of Bredasdorp.  It is possible that H. magnifica var. paradoxa belongs with H. mirabilis (see H. magnifica) but the coastal area has not been fully explored so that a good decision is not yet possible.

1999 – The typification of this species is obvious although Haworth in 1812 does not cite the Botanical Magazine illustration.  He does cite the preceding t.1353, Aloe recurva under Haworthia recurva, so this is quite an extraordinary oversight.  There is an illustration in the Kew library apparently labelled H. mirabilis which Scott regards as illustrating this species.  The illustration is almost identical to t.1353 and is of that species viz. H. recurva Haw. rather than of H. mirabilis.   The illustration is of a trifarious plant and, despite the annotation ‘mirabilis, ‘there can be no question of any confusion between this and the description of H. mirabilis which reads ‘quinquefarius’.  The other points are that 1. Ker-Gawler obtained his plants from Haworth and acknowledges this source; 2. Haworth refers to its singularity and ‘productions of art’; 3. Haworth places it between H. margaritifera and H. translucens(?).

This has been an old problem in Haworthia – the proliferation of names without the first establishment of the application of the old.  The recognition of the correct application of the species name requires some additional modification to the structure of the species.  While citing the wrongly labelled Kew illustration, Scott also omits mention of the Ker-Gawler illustration.  In addition to this he appears to have identified several collection of H. maraisii as H. mirabilis which is also apparent from his distribution map.  These two species do not co-occur and yet they seem to be discrete.  Two populations are known which appear to be interactions of the two elements.

a.var. mirabilis.
It is clear that H. mirabilis had to have some application and this has previously been found in terms of a host of varieties.  In retrospect it is apparent that the only variety that satisfies the requirements of the species as originally described is H. mundula of Smith, transferred only to H. mirabilis as a subspecies in 1976.  It is a problem of the nomenclatural system that the species may be described from a non-representative element, as has happened here where only one deviant population is concerned.  The specimen nominated as the epitype by Breuer and Metzing is again unfortunate because this is the variant beukmannii.

Distribution: CAPE‑3419 (Caledon): Mierkraal, Bredasdorp (‑DB), M. Otzen 10 in Smith 5479 (NBG), Smith 3951, 5364, 5612 (NBG).

Inadequately located: ex hort, Malherbe in NBG303/60.

b.var. badia (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. badia V.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 7:76(1938).  Haworthia mirabilis subsp. badia (V.Poelln.) Bayer :101(1976).  Bayer, Excelsa 7:42(1977).  Bayer :47(1982).  Type: Cape, Napier, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1058.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon, Kakteenk. en Kakteenfr. :76(1938).

badia: reddish brown.

This is a robust, slowly proliferous variety growing in sandstone derived depauperate clay, in among pebbles and low-growing fynbos.  The leaves are quite attenuate and develop a very deep shiny brown colour in the sun.  Unfortunately most of its rather unique habitat has been destroyed by quarrying activity and invasion by alien vegetation.

Distribution: 3419 (Napier): Napier (‑BD), I. Williams 616 (NBG), Payne in PRE 34870, Smith 3239, 3269, 5207, 5480 (NBG), Bayer in KG628/69, Rossouw in NBG2095/37 (BOL); 3km Napier to Caledon (-BD), Scott 2207 (PRE).

c.var. beukmannii (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. emelyae var. beukmannii V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 49:29(1940).  Type: Cape, Caledon, C. Beukman.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon (B). Epitype (designated here): CAPE‑3419 (Caledon): Skuitsberg (‑BA), Smith 3969 (NBG).

beukmannii: for C. Beukman.

This is a very robust form with strongly retused leaves and spined margins.

Distribution: CAPE‑3419 (Caledon): Skuitsberg (‑BA), Smith 3969, 3258, 3832, 5184, 5646 (NBG), Fourcade 41, 86 (NBG), Bayer in KG32/70 (NBG), Bayer 2453 (NBG), Venter 16 (BOL).

d.var. calcarea var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3420 (Bredasdorp): De Hoop (-AD), C. Burgers 1648 (NBG, Holo.).

calcarea: pertaining to lime.

Differs from the species in having short erect leaves, with a short retused end-area.  It is proliferous and the rosettes, at least in cultivation, tend to be raised as opposed to remaining flattish to the ground.  (A var. mirabilis foliis brevioribus erectis viridibus sordidus differt).

First collected by C. Burgers in the De Hoop Nature reserve where it grows on low-lying limestone rocks.  There are two other collections from the Potberg area which may have some connection with this variety, or with the species.  One is by Prof. Compton in which the plants appear to have been in sand and very obscure.  At first sight they appear to be of H. mutica, but they have very pointed leaves.  The other collection is also by C. Burgers and appear to be of plants with more slender and longer leaves from the lower slopes of the Potberg.  There is also a collection from the Potberg once made by A. Mitchell of a very small plant, like the variety consanguinea described below, but which is H. variegata var. modesta.  H. heidelbergensis is also known from this area.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): De Hoop (-AD), C. Burgers 1648 (NBG); NNE. Buffelsfontein (-BC), Burgers 2018 (NBG).

e.var. consanguinea var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3419 (Caledon): Die Galg (-BA), Bayer (NBG, Holo.).

consanguinea: related.

A small proliferous, relatively soft-leaved form comparable with the small proliferous mountain form of H. turgida.  (A var. mirabilis rosulis parvioribus prolificantibus facile et foliis virellis differt).

It is difficult to deal with these montane forms which seem to occur in the sandstone ranges from the Potberg, the Riviersonderend, the Langeberg, the Swartberg and the Cedarberg mountains.  This particular element seems to be associated with the lower-lying varieties in the shales, in the same way that H. turgida transposes to retusa-like forms.  Although looking very similar to the sandstone forms of H. turgida, it has the very narrow elongate buds of H. mirabilis, and also the leaves have the brownish-red coloration associated with H. mirabilis.  The P.V. Bruyns collection cited below is significantly different from the two others as the leaves are quite slender.

Distribution: 3419 (Caledon): Die Galg (-BA), Bayer (NBG); Dwarswaterkloof (-BA), Bruyns 3244 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Near McGregor, Esterhuysen 5218, 5219 (BOL).

f.var. paradoxa (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. paradoxa V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 33:240(1933).  idem. Desert.Pl.Life 99:90(1937).  H. maraisii var. paradoxa (V.Poelln.) Bayer :143(1976).  H. magnifica var. paradoxa (V.Poelln.) Bayer, Nat.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :45(1982).  pp. H. asperula Haw. sensu Scott :119(1985).  Type: Cape, Vermaaklikheid, Mrs Ferguson in Stellenbosch 6692.  Not preserved.  Neotype (B&M): Riversdale, Ferguson (BOL).

paradoxa: paradoxical.

Von Poellnitz did not explain his epithet and simply related it to his H. schuldtiana (H. maraisii).  He was struck by the spines on the leaf face which are unusual.  A greater paradox is the relation of this element to H. emelyae var. major which also has a very spined leaf surface.  It does not follow that such spines are a dichotomously allocated character.  Their occurrence in H. magnifica does not necessarily suggest that var. paradoxa is better placed there on these and geographical grounds, than with H. mirabilis.  The var. paradoxa also seems to be associated with limestones and there is no other known link with H. mirabilis east of the Breede River.  The solution which I offer is the somewhat dubious connection of the species through H. heidelbergensis, and possibly also through the two populations ascribed to var. calcarea.

Distribution: 3421 (Riversdale): Vermaaklikheid (‑AC), J. Dekenah 8 (NBG), Kramer 433 (PRE), Fourcade 277 (NBG), Smith 3272, 5388, 6109 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Ferguson 1 (BOL).

g.var. sublineata (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. triebneriana var. sublineata V.Poelln. in Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 44:135(1938).  Type: Cape, Bredasdorp, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1106.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3420 (Bredasdorp): S. Bredasdorp (-CA), Smith 3966 (NBG).

sublineata: almost lined.

This is also a sandstone variant from south of Bredasdorp.  The leaves are relatively long and slender.  A similar, well-lined but more robust form used to be abundant immediately north of the town too along the river bank.  It should be expected to occur further to the west.

Distribution: 3420 (Bredasdorp): S. Bredasdorp (-CA), Smith 3966 (NBG), Stayner in KG209/60; N. Bredasdorp (-CA), Smith 3252, 3266, 3830, 3976 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Bredsadorp, Venter 17, 18 (BOL), Barker 21337 (BOL).

h.var. triebneriana (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. triebneriana V.Poelln., Cactus J 5:33(1936). idem. Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:214(1937).  idem. Cactus J 6:36(1937).  idem. Desert.Pl.Life 99:101(1937).  idem. Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 47:8(1939):  H. mirabilis Haw.  pp. Bayer :136(1976).  pp. Bayer :47(1982).  pp. Bayer, Excelsa 7:42(1977).  pp. Scott :69(1985).  Type: Cape, Strydomsvlei, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 841. Not preserved. Lectotype (Bayer, 1976): icon. (B):  H. willowmorensis V.Poelln., Feddes Repert Spec.Nov. 41:216(1937).  non Scott, Aloe 11:42(1973).  Type: Cape, Willowmore, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 840.  Not preserved. Lectotype (B&M): icon (B):  H. triebneriana var. depauperata idid. 43:94(1938).  ibid. Desert.Pl.Life 9:101(1937).  Type: Cape, Stormsvlei near Robertson, Payne in Triebn. 990. Not preserved. Lectotype (Bayer, 1976): icon. (B):  H. triebneriana var. multituberculata idem. Feddes Repert Spec.Nov. 44:135.  idem. 47:10(1939).  Type: Cape, NW. Napier, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1111. Not preserved. Lectotype (Bayer, 1976): icon, (B):  H. triebneriana var. rubrodentata Triebn. et V.Poelln. ibid. 47:10(1939).  Type: Cape, between Villiersdorp and Greyton, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1143.  Not preserved. Lecotype (B&M): icon (B). Epitype (designated here): CAPE-3419(Caledon): near Genadendal (-BA), Bayer in KG692/69 (NBG):  H. triebneriana var. napierensis ibid.  Type: Cape, Napier, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1145.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3419(Caledon): Skietpad (-BD), Bayer 4642 (NBG):  H. triebneriana var. turgida Triebn. ibid. 47:11(1939).  Type: Cape, N. of Napier, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1107.  Not preserved:  H. triebneriana var. subtuberculata V.Poelln. idem. 47:10(1939).  Type: Cape, S. Caledon, G.J. Payne in Triebn. 1114.  Not preserved:  H. triebneriana var. pulchra V.Poelln. ibid. 49:29(1940).  Type: Cape, N. Stormsvlei, Stellenbosch 19.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3420(Bredasdorp): Stormsvlei Pass, Beukmann in Smith 5609 (NBG):  H. rossouwii V.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 7:75(1938).  Type: Cape, Napier, Rossouw in Triebn. 1059.  Not preserved. Lecotype (B&M): icon (B). H. nitidula V.Poelln., Desert.Pl.Life 11:192(1939), Bayer, Cact.Succ.J(U.S.) 52:10(1980).  Type: Cape, Worcester, Swellendam etc., Venter 15.  Not preserved. Lectotype (B&M): icon (B).  Epitype (designated here): CAPE-3419(Caledon): near Greyton, Bayer in KG31/70 (NBG).

triebneriana; in honour of W. Triebner.

In recognising the typical variety as the previously named ssp. mundula, it becomes necessary to find a name for the main body of the species, and this is now taken from the first name that can be fairly definitely associated with the species.  This is despite the improbable locality cited for H. triebneriana and considering the very poor records associated with Triebner’s contributions.  Where the typical variety of the species is restricted to the single locality southwest of Bredasdorp, this generalised variety is widespread in the area from Caledon, east to Swellendam, to Napier and back to Caledon.  At Swellendam there is an additional population to the one south of Stormsvlei where this species is confounded with H. maraisii.

Distribution: 3419 (Caledon): Uitkyk (-AB), Smith 5562 (NBG), Bayer in KG682/69 (NBG); N. Uitkyk (-AB), Bayer in KG28/70 (NBG); Dagbreek (-BA), Bayer 2453 (NBG); near Greyton (-BA), Smith 3245, 3260, 3265, 3419, 3811, 3904, 3905, 3968, 5481, 5482, 5643 (NBG), Bayer in KG 30/70, in KG31/70 (NBG); Near Genadendal (-BA), Bayer in KG692/69 (NBG); Skietpad (-BD), Bayer 4642 in KG510/70 (NBG); Mierkraal, Napier (-BD), Bayer in KG681/69 (NBG).  342O(Bredasdorp): Stormsvlei (-AA), Smith 3254, 3457, 3971, 5609, Bayer in KG26/70 (NBG), De Kok  296 (NBG); Near Breede River (-AB), Tomlinson 13680 (PRE).

Inadequately located: ex Triebner, Smith 4947 (NBG); Venter in NBG6290/39; Caledon, Venter 13, 15 (BOL).

H. Mirabilis 8347

Haworthia mirabilis (Haw.) Haw.
[as Aloe mirabilis Haw.] 
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine,

vol. 33: t. 1354 (1811) [n.a.]

Haworthia Revisited – 22. Haworthia monticola

22. Haworthia monticola Fourc., Trans.Roy.Soc.S.Afr. 21:78(1937).  Scott :57(1985).  Type: Cape, George and Uniondale districts, Fourcade 2498 (K):  H. divergens Bayer :113(1976).  Bayer :38(1982).  Type: CAPE‑3322 (Oudtshoorn): Molen River (‑DD), Bayer 175 (NBG).

monticola: mountain dwelling.

Rosette stemless, proliferous, 2-4cm φ. Leaves 30-40, elongate, lanceolate, 2-6cm long, tips incurving, margins and keel with small spines, upper surfaces often with pellucid spots.  Inflorescence slender, to 30cm.  Flowers sparse, white.

1982 – The name of this species [i.e. divergens] is derived from its probable relationship with H. variegata and H. angustifolia.  It occurs in the Outeniqua mountains between Oudtshoorn and Willowmore and is separated from H. variegata, which it closely resembles, by the Langeberg mountains, the Gouritz River Valley and the intercession of H. chloracantha.  It is separated from H. angustifolia by a distance of about 160km.  The leaf tips tend to curve inwards and the marginal spines are more conspicuous than in related species.  Towards Uniondale and Willowmore the species is still strongly variegated but becomes smaller.  Beyond Willowmore there is a suggestion that it may intergrade with H. zantneriana.

1999 – Fourcade’s argument that Baker in Flora Capensis of 1880, was describing this species in mistake for Haworth’s H. angustifolia, is weak in the extreme.  His reference to translucence in the lower leaf area is nonsensical and is simply a consequence of submergence which occurs in most species when so growing.  There is no doubt from his specimens that he was dealing with a different species, and why he should have decided to draw Baker’s, or even Schultes earlier description into doubt is odd.  They were both based on Haworth’s species and probably on Salm-Dyck’s illustration.  This is why I applied a new name viz. H. divergens.  However, if it is argued that Fourcade’s species has no connection to Baker, and is based on and typified by different material (Fourcade’s own specimens), then I presume his name should stand.

Affinities between this species and H. angustifolia are often cited.  However, there is a problem of distribution and geographical co-herence.  It is far more probable that the connection of the two species is through H. zantneriana and the problem can only be fully understood through a good knowledge of the mountain ranges of the southern Cape.  There are very few collections of H. monticola east of Willowmore.  The furthest is at Sandvlakte in the Baviaanskloof where the plants have fairly turgid leaves with some translucence.  This is however, in the southern mountains of the Baviaanskloof and thus cannot connect to H. zantneriana.  If it did prove continuous with that species it would have to be east of the Perdepoort to the north of Willowmore.  There is a collection of P.V. Bruyns (6316) from that area which may prove to be this missing link.  In fact the more recent collection also by Bruyns (7071) cited under H. zantneriana var. minor, is from the specified area and seems to confirm the continuity of the two taxa.  A collection by J.D. Venter from the Witberg east of Willowmore, may do the same.  Here the plants are less denticulate, very spotted and rather softer than usual for the species.  There does not seem to be any likelihood that there is a direct connection with H. angustifolia across the barrier of the Groot River Valley.  The Oudekraal collections of that species (its var. baylissii) do allow suggestion of such an affinity.

a. var.monticola .
The typical variety is very similar in appearance to H. variegata with mottling of the leaf surfaces.  Around Uniondale these markings are less conspicuous and the leaves are blackish.  Southeast of Willowmore the leaves are almost spineless and the plants are very mottled.

Distribution: 3322 (Oudtshoorn): 13km N. Klaarstroom (-BC), Bruyns 2255 (NBG); Molen River (‑DD), Bayer 175 (NBG), Smith 2895 (NBG); Erfpacht (-DD), Smith 5809 (NBG).   3323 (Willowmore): Leeukloof (-AB), Stayner in KG117/62 (NBG), Venter 91/139 (NBG); Boesmanspoortberg (-AB), Bruyns 6316 (BOL); Perdepoort (-AB), Branch 461 (NBG); Georgida (-AD), Bayer 3363 (NBG); Witberg (-BC), Venter 92/102 (NBG); S. Willowmore (-BC), Stayner in KG644/61 (NBG); Uniondale (-CA), Stayner in KG242/70 (NBG); Langkloof (-CA), Taute in NBG1282/26 (NBG); 9km W. Uniondale (-CA), Fourcade 3606 (PRE); E. Uniondale (-CA), Bayer 3384 (NBG); NE. Uniondale (-CA), Smith 3664, 3665 (NBG); Nuwekloof (-DA), Bruyns 1655 (NBG).  3324(Steytlerville): Bosrugpad, Sandvlakte (-CA), Boycott in NBG144868; Dam se Drif (-CA), Bruyns 1844 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Uniondale, Herre 5686 (BOL); Oudtshoorn, Taylor 31 (BOL).

b. var. asema var.nov. 
Type: CAPE-3321 (Ladismith): Calitzdorp, Besemkop (-DA), J.D. Venter 12 (NBG, Holo.).

asema: without distinguishing marks.

Leaves smoother, more turgid, generally shorter, more uniformly grey-green, flowering very much earlier.  (A var. monticola radicibus crassioribus et foliis brevioribus obesioribus griseo-viridibus differt).

This variety is widely separated from the main body of the species and is known at two localities northeast of Calitzdorp.  It does not have clear relationships with H. monticola nor with any other species.  The root system is less branching, the roots much more succulent, it flowers very much earlier and the off-sets are very quickly free of the mother plant.  It may be the species noted by Von Poellnitz as H. angustifolia from Calitzdorp (also commented on under H. pulchella).  It is not given species status simply because it is inadequately known and there is no better information relating it to other species.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): Calitzdorp, Besemkop (-DA), J.D. Venter 12 (NBG); Kruisrivier (-BC), Venter 90/57 (NBG).

Haworthia Revisited – 23. Haworthia mucronata

23. Haworthia mucronata Haw., Haworth, Suppl .. Pl. Succ.: 50 (1819). Type: Cape, exhort. Kew. Not preserved. Lectotype: icon (K): H. helmiae V.Poelln., Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. 41: 201 (1937). Scott: 99 (1985). H. unicolorvar. helmiae (V.Poelln.) M.B.Bayer: 121 (1976), Bayer: 59(1982): Type: Cape, Heidelberg, Smithers in Triebn. 901, Gt Brak River, Mrs Helm in Triebn. 901. Not preserved . Lectotype (B&M): icon, (B). Epitype (designated here): CAPE-3322 (Oudtshoorn): Schoemanspoort (-AC), Bayer 171 (NBG): H. V. Poelln., Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. 44: 233 (1938), Scott: 98 (1985). Type: Cape, Little Karoo, Mrs E. Ferguson. Not preserved. Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3321 (Calitzdorp): On the Gamka East road (-DA), Scott 1050 (PRE): H unicolorV.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 10: 133 (icon), 154 (1937). Bayer: 165 (1976). H. unicolor var. unicolor (V.Poelln .) M.B.Bayer: 59 (1982): Type: Cape, Barrydale, A.J. Joubert in STE5230. Not preserved. Lectotype (B&M): icon in Kakteenk. & Kakteenfr.: 133 (1937): Epitype (designated here): CAPE-3320 (Montagu): Barrydale (-DC), J. Dekenah 234 (NBG): H. mclarenii V.Poelln., Des. Pl. Life 11: 107 (1939). Type: Cape, near Barrydale, G. McLaren in Triebn. 1160. Not preserved. Lectotype (B&M): icon (B): H. aristata Haw. sensu. V.Poelln., Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. 43: 92 (1938). Ibid. 49: 27 (1940). Sensu Jacobsen 2: 537 (1954). Sensu CL.Scott, Nat. Cact. Succ. J. 35: 11 (1980). Ibid.: 110 (1937): H. serrata M.B.Bayer sensu CL.Scott: 62 (1985).

mucronata: pointed.

Rosette stemless, proliferous, 6-12cm φ.  Leaves 30-45, soft, incurved, broadly ovate-lanceolate, slightly pellucid, with translucent margins and keel, both often spined.  Inflorescence simple, robust.  Flowers many, compact on peduncle, broad across upper tube, white with green venation.

NOTE: Considerable confusion surrounds the above and following synonymies.  The species H. unicolor and H. rycroftiana are now included here, and one variety of the former, var. venteri, is transferred to H. arachnoidea.  Haworthia habdomadis and its varieties are also subsumed in this new arrangement, under H. mucronata.

1982 – The original specimen of H. unicolor was from the town of Barrydale and pale green plants of this kind can still be found in that immediate area.  However, von Poellnitz also included citations from Montagu and Ockertskraal.  In a later publication (1938), he included the species in synonymy under H. aristata on the basis of plants received from Long from the Cango Caves.  These plants included forms which von Poellnitz felt represented both his H. unicolor and H. aristata.  However, in Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. 43:92(1940), he continues the discussion and cites specimens, one later to be described as H. mclarenii.  It seems clear that these citations by vn Poellnitz refer to the better known and highly variable H. unicolor var. venteri.  The locality of H. mclarenii cited by Von Poellnitz as Tulbagh was patently erroneous.  G.G. Smith records that W.E. Armstrong wrote “I had sent away a batch of plants, some from Mr McLaren and others from Miss de Klerk of Tulbagh and of the batch L693, Arm. 180 and Trieb.1160 actually collected by Miss de Klerk of Uitzicht, P.O. Tulbagh, at Barrydale, was erroneously named H. mclarenii”.  There is thus no doubt that this species is synonymous with H. unicolor.  A photograph by Fourcade (no.224) of H. mclarenii also confirms this view.  The type locality for H. venteri was recorded by Smith as ” 3/4m. Barrydale‑Lemoenshoek” although Major H. Venter’s localities are very broadly stated in publication and practically valueless.  Only Smith’s notes give any better clue to these but in this case there is still no certainty.  However, there is a very common species extending from Barrydale to Oudtshoorn from which this variety is clearly drawn.  At Barrydale itself the plants are rather pale green with elongated sparsely setate leaves ‑ this is regarded here as the species H. unicolor.  Eastward the plants are more robust and often glabrous, usually distinguished by particularly dark‑purplish coloration towards the leaf tips.  The further eastward one progresses the more setate the plants become until at Oudtshoorn, south of the Cango Caves, the plants are comparatively small and more softly setate (H. unicolor var.helmiae).  It is not in the least clear what the relationship is between H. unicolor and H. arachnoidea.  They do not appear to cohabit which suggests that they may be conspecific and only differentiated on an ecotypic basis.  This is borne out by the pale arachnoidea‑like population at the northern entrance to the Tradouw Pass, south of Barrydale.  However at Ladismith H. arachnoidea is present as a very distinct heavily setate form, and similarly south of the Cango Caves it occurs near to H. unicolor var. helmiae as a softer haired but also highly setate form.  Cognisance must also be taken of H. integra from apparently west of Ladismith.  The species H. unicolor is therefore not well‑known or properly understood and this solution must be regarded as suspect.  Von Poellnitz’s citations of localities for the var. helmiae are highly confusing and in Feddes Repert. Spec. Nov. 44:223(1938) are totally disparate.  The type is cited in 1938 as “Great Brak River, Mrs Helm” and three Triebner numbers are added to this.  Mrs Helm’s strong personal recollection (private communication, and acknowledgement to Col. C.L. Scott) is that the original plants were collected at a specific site south of the Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn.  The photograph extant in the Botanical Museum Dahlem (which must serve as the type) is of a very poor specimen, but it can be reasonably allied with plants from the site given by Mrs Helm.  It is concluded that it is an extension of the complex to which it is here referred.  J.R. Brown’s illustrations in Cactus Succul.J(U.S.) 18:39(1946) are not of this variety.

1999 – The confusion here is not only due to human error and  perversity.  The problem lies in trying to explain the difficulties of the situation itself, and then in the light of all the different perceptions about the species which may or may not be involved.  Col. Scott distributes elements of the single typical variety into four species (including his perception of H serrata Bayer) in three different sections, and this exemplifies how difficult it is to arrive at a consensus.  To understand the changes effected here, one should read the synonymy thoroughly.  The changes are consistent with the explanations given in 1982 and it is felt that var. venteri should in fact go under H. arachnoidea under an older name nigricans.  Similarly var. helmiae is subsumed under H. arachnoidea as well.  The remnant, H. unicolor, correctly belongs to H. mucronata Haw. but not in the sense used by Scott where elements of H. bolusii, H. cooperi, H. aristata, H. arachnoidea and possibly two other species are also included.

Three factors are important in ringing these changes:-

  1. A collection from northeast of Montagu (cited under the var. inconfluens) in which the plants are highly variable and which could be assigned to var. habdomadis, var. mucronata, var. integra and possibly to H. arachnoidea var. nigricans.
  2. The relationship of H. arachnoidea to this species via its varieties.
  3. The relationship of H. rycroftiana to H. integra V.Poelln. as interpreted by Scott (the name integra is now upheld over the former).

Apart from these factors, the characteristic of the species is the translucence along the margins and keels, which separates it from H. arachnoidea.  Unfortunately the confusion within the ambit of the species itself confounds interpretation of relations with other species.  Hayashi (unpublished) repeats and emphasizes the probable relationship of the species with H. cymbiformis through its var. transiens, as conjectured in 1982.  One cannot exclude a similar relationship with H. cooperi as also conjectured under the var. habdomadis.  The inclusion of all those diverse elements in H. mucronata sensu Scott, does not hint at the real relationship of the species with H. decipiens and H. lockwoodii north of Seweweekspoort.  There is considerable difficulty in unequivocally designating specimens.

a. var. mucronata.
The typical variety occurs around Barrydale and it is clear that there are many variants including the transformation to arachnoidea-like plants in Tradouw Pass.  It was these variants which initially suggested to me that the variation to H. arachnoidea var. nigricans was continuous.  However, the glabrous forms of the latter should always be distinguished by the characteristic of non-tranlucent keel or margins to the leaf.  The leaves of this variety (the argument can be extended to the varieties integra and nigricans) may become very spiny.  The loss of marginal translucence, particularly in the northwestern Little Karoo makes it very difficult to distinguish it from H. arachnoidea.

Distribution: 3320(Montagu): Barrydale (‑DC), J. Dekenah 234 (NBG), Smith 3911, 3992, 6572 (NBG), Smithers (BOL), Bolus in NBG697/32 (BOL), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Jordaan (BOL), Villet in KG180/61 (NBG), Stayner in KG119/71 (NBG); 18km W. Barrydale (-DC), Scott 6200 (PRE); Hills S. Barrydale (-DC), Scott 5089 (PRE).  3321(Ladismith): Algerynkraal, Brakkloof (-AD), Curator PRE Bot. Garden 3628 (PRE).

Inadequately located: Montagu, Rogers in BOL15478.

b. var. habdomadis (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. habdomadis V.Poelln., Desert.Pl.Life 11:88(1938).  Scott :106(1985).  H. inconfluens var. habdomadis (V.Poelln.) Bayer :121 (1976).  H. habdomadis var. habdomadis (V.Poelln) Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :41(1982).  Type: Cape, Seweweekspoort, A.J. Joubert in Stellenbosch 7692.  Not preserved.  Neotype (B&M): Seweweekspoort , Barker & Lewis in NBG2764/32 (BOL).

habdomadis: referring to Sevenweekspoort.

1982 – Haworthia habdomadis is a species of the Little Karoo and it extends from Anysberg in the west to as far as Uniondale in the east.  Three varieties are recognised as in H. unicolor and these two species have a puzzling relationship.  Apart from a locality south of Vanwyksdorp, they are not known to occur together.  H. habdomadis var. habdomadis is an element occurring in the sandstone mountains between Sevenweekspoort and just west of Ladismith.  The var. inconfluens is more opaque and is usually spineless.  This variety occurs in a form at Anysberg barely distinguishable from H. cymbiformis var. transiens, in that it has the same rounded leaf tips.  The var. morrisiae is generally a brilliant green colour and occurs in the Oudtshoorn/Volmoed areas.  However, it also occurs at Prince Albert and at Van Wyksdorp.  It has both pointed and unpointed leaf forms and the distribution does not seem to strictly complement that of the var. inconfluens.  Furthermore the form at Van Wyksdorp has the purple tinges associated with H. unicolor var. venteri.  The form at Van Wyksdorp has the characteristic leaf shape of H. unicolor var. venteri with the same well‑defined keel and terminal bristle, and at this locality it grows practically in conjunction with that species.  The two species flower simultaneously and there do not seem to be significant differences in the flowers.  The presence of H. habdomadis var. inconfluens north of Uniondale needs confirmation of identification.

1999 – The circumscription here narrows this variety down to the sandstone forms with a more compact translucent rosette.  Although also known from just west of Ladismith, very little further information regarding its distribution is available.  Spined forms of this nature are known north of Seweweekspoort and also east of De Rust and presumed to be the var. inconfluens.  The recurrence of such soft, short leaved forms north of Montagu is surprising and perhaps re-enforces the perception of ecological adaptation, in this case to low-nutrient sandstone.  If this is the case, similar forms should occur on the south facing rocks of the Touwsberg, Anysberg and Warmwaterberg.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): Dwarsrivier (-AC), Bayer 1618 (NBG); Swartbergkloof (-AC), Joubert 182 (BOL); Seweweekspoort (‑AD), H. Hall in NBG69371, Hall 2199 (PRE); Smith 7524 (NBG), Malherbe in NBG654/41, Compton & Lamb in NBG2340/27 (BOL), Barker & Lewis in NBG2764/32 (BOL); Lower Seweweekspoort (-AD), Smith 6991 (NBG).

c. var. inconfluens (V.Poelln.) Bayer comb.nov. 
H. altilinea var. limpida fa inconfluens V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 45:169(1938).  H. mucronata var. limpida fa inconfluens idem. 49:29(1940).  H. inconfluens (V.Poelln) Bayer :121(1976).  H. habdomadis var. inconfluens (V.Poelln) Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :41(1982).  Type: Cape, Ladismith waterfall, H. Herre in STE7695.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon, Triebner 1031 (B):  H. bijliana var. joubertii V.Poelln., Cactus J 5:36(1936). idem., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:196(1937).  H. setata var. bijliana sv joubertii idem. 44:224(1938).  H. setata var. joubertii (V.Poelln.) Jacobsen, Hand.Succ.Pl. 2:593(1960).  Type: Cape, Ladismith, A.J. Joubert in Triebn. 878.  Not preserved.  Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3321 (Ladismith): N. Ladismith (-AD), Smith 5734 (NBG).

inconfluens: coming together.

It is not known to what von Poellnitz alluded when he named this form.  Presumable he was referring to the lines of the leaves joining towards the leaf-tips, or he may have been alluding to the coming-together of different geographic forms.  The var. joubertii was collected north of the town of Ladismith where spined forms of this large variety grow.  Just south of the town there is a massive population of spineless plants.  This variety is not well-represented in the herbarium although it is known as far afield as Hoekvandieberg and Bellair Dam.  Eastward it is known to the Huisriver Pass and again northeast of Calitzdorp.  From there it is apparently replaced by the green var. morrisiae.  A pale grey-green counterpart is found again from Uniondale eastward and this is probably the route to either H. cymbiformis or to H. cooperi.  There is another transformation north of Seweweekspoort, already referred to, which involves H. decipiens and H. lockwoodii.  Where previous authors have simply confounded H. bolusii var. blackbeardiana with H. mucronata, these populations would surely have driven them finally to a more realistic appreciation of the actual problems involved.

Distribution: 3320 (Montagu): Montagu (-CA), Dymond in NBG2096/32 (NBG); Knipes Bath (-CA), Smith 3990 (NBG); Dammetjies (-CB), Stayner in KG47/67 (NBG); Jakkalsfontein (-DA), Bayer 4438 (NBG); Anysberg Pass (-DA), Bayer 1986 (NBG), Martin 57 (NBG); Warmwaterberg (-DA), Smith 7310 (NBG), 3321(Ladismith): 8km W. Ladismith (-AC), (NBG); Dwarsrivier (-AC), Bayer in KG567/71 (NBG); N. Ladismith (-AD), Smith 5734 (NBG); Ladismith (-AD), Pole-Evans in PRE34908, Malherbe in NBG587/40; Die Berg (-BC), Bayer 159 (NBG); Huis River Pass (-BC), Hardy 320 (PRE), Smith 6887 (NBG); Boerbonefontein (-CA), Laidler 361 (NBG); Noukloof (-CA), Laidler 84 (NBG); 4,5 km south of Ladismith(‑CA), Smith 5503, 5730, 5731 (NBG), Bayer 1628, in KG 590/71 (NBG); 9km SW. Ladismith (-CA).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): Schoemanspoort (-AD), Taylor (BOL).

Inadequately located: Calitzdorp, Blackburn (BOL).

d. var. morrisiae  V.Poelln.,
Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 49:29(1940).  Scott :83(1982).  H. altilinea var. morrisiae V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 45:168(1938).  H inconfluens var. morrisiae (V.Poelln.) Bayer :121(1976).  H. habdomadis var. morrisiae (V.Poelln.) Bayer, Natn.Cact.Succ.J 32:18(1977).  Bayer :41(1982).  Type: Cape, Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp, Mrs Morris in Long 484.  Not preserved.  Lectotype (B&M): icon (B).

morrisiae: for Mrs G. Morris.

This is a bright, almost emerald-green, variety from around Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp.  It is known westward to south of Vanwyksdorp.  Greenish forms of the species also occur further west at Anysberg Pass and from southwest of the Anysberg.

Distribution: 3320 (Montagu): Touwsfontein (-CB), Bayer 5296 (NBG).  3321 (Ladismith): W. Vanwyksdorp (-CB), Bayer in KG568/71 (NBG); Bergplaas (-BC), Bayer in KG323/70 (NBG); Warmbron (-DB), Bayer 1621 (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): between Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay (‑CA), J. Dekenah 197 (NBG); Rooikrans (-CA), Van Niekerk 521 (BOL); Volmoed (-CA), Bayer in KG109/74 (NBG); SW. Oudtshoorn (-CA), Smith 5782 (NBG), Taylor 11776 (PRE); Rooikoppies (-CB), Schnettler in KG334/71 (NBG); Hazenjacht (-CB), Bayer in KG120/71 (NBG); Kamanassie Dam (-CB), Bayer in KG151/72 (NBG); 8km S. Oudtshoorn (-CA), Bayer 2099 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Oudtshoorn, Taylor in NBG981/28 (BOL), Vlakteplaas, Frey (BOL).

e. var. rycroftiana Bayer Bayer, JS.Afr. Bot. 47:795(1981).  Bayer :54(1975).  Type: CAPE‑3321 (Ladismith): Gouritz River between Van Wyksdorp and Herbertsdale (‑DC), Bayer 1701 (NBG).

1982 – The relationships of this species ( ie. H. rycroftiana) are enigmatic.  The locality in the Gouritz Valley supports the view that it is related to the H. turgida complex, especially in view of the reported occurrence of the latter species northwest of Calitzdorp.  However, the general facies of the plant and its occurrence north of the Langeberg mountains suggest a more probable affinity with H. unicolor or H. habdomadis.  H. unicolor is known at its nearest 10 km south of Van Wyksdorp where is grows with H. habdomadis var morrisiae.  H. rycroftiana is distinguished from both of these by its more ovate and turgid leaves.  It occurs at its only known locality on a steep slope where it is clump‑forming ‑ also reminiscent of H. turgida.  The locality and appearance of the plants suggests that this species is a link between the species of the South‑western Cape and the Little Karoo.  This particular area between Van Wyksdorp and Zebra, south of Oudtshoorn is entirely unknown as far as Haworthia is concerned and the middle Gouritz valley is also largely unexplored. (P.V. Bruyns has since collected from two populations in this latter area, which are patently the same species).

1999 – Cognizance must be taken of H. integra V. Poelln. as discussed and explored by Scott.  This also helps to explain a population which has been distributed as a glabrous variant of var. habdomadis which occurs within the Gamkapoort.  References to H. turgida in the 1982 seem to be quite erroneous because that species does not have the translucent margins and keels to the leaves.  It also is not known north of the Langeberg mountains as suspected from records.  Also around Calitzdorp, var. integra may include spined forms.  There is, and will be, probable difficulty in separating these spined forms from H. arachnoidea var. nigricans and more attention to this problem is required.

Distribution: 3321 (Ladismith): 23km E. Ladismith (-AC), Bayer in KG77/71 (NBG); Kruisrivier (-BD), Stayner in KG857/60 (NBG); Vensterkrans, Algerynskraal (-CA), Laidler 376 (NBG); Muiskraal (-CC), Chisholm in NBG774/38 (NBG); Gamka East (-DA), Blackburn (BOL); On Gamka East road (-DA), Scott 1050 (PRE); Danielskraal (-DA), Bruyns 2219 (NBG); Waterkloof (-DA), Bruyns 2231 (NBG); Badspoort (-DB), Bruyns 3724 (BOL); Gouritz River between Van Wyksdorp and Herbertsdale (‑DC), Bayer 1701 (NBG).  3322 (Oudtshoorn): N. Oudtshoorn (-AC), Smith 5089, 5783 (NBG); Schoemanspoort (-AD), Smith 5085 (NBG), Bayer 171 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Barrydale, Venter 8 (BOL), Bolus in NBD696/35 (BOL); Riversdale, Ferguson (BOL); Riethuiskraal, Ferguson (BOL); Oudtshoorn, Peers (BOL).