Haworthia Revisited – 35. Haworthia springbokvlakensis

35. Haworthia springbokvlakensis Scott, JS.Afr.Bot. 36:287(1970).  Scott, Aloe 11:4(1973).  Bayer :155(1976).  Bayer :37(1982).  Scott :133(1985).  Type: CAPE‑3325 (Port Elizabeth): Springbokvlakte (-BD), Scott 245 (PRE).

springbokvlakensis: from Springbokvlakte.

Rosette stemless, non-proliferous, to 10cm φ.  Leaves 8-12, turgid, very rounded and retused, with translucent end-area and several longitudinal short lines.  Inflorescence simple.  Flowers white with brownish venation.

1982 – This very distinct species with very turgid leaf faces and rounded leaf tips is at the extreme east of the distribution range for the ‘retuse’ haworthias.  H. emelyae would be supposed to be its nearest relative but this species is known only as far east as Uniondale.  It seems as though the gap can only be explained by poor collecting.  H. springbokvlakensis is not well‑known although there are reports of other localities in the area of the type.  The plants are quite variable and the leaves tend to be slightly viscid so that clay and dust particles adhere tightly to leaf surfaces.  Field collected plants are thus often unsightly and dirty compared to the well‑grown cultivated specimens.  The relationship of H. springbokvlakensis to the newly discovered H. bruynsii in the subgenus Hexangulares is the most intriguing mystery in Haworthia.

1999 – The distribution of this species has not really been extended by any new collections apart from a collection reported west of Kirkwood by P. Schoemann and another in the Klipplaat area by J. Bouwer.  The latter collection was of a single robust plant and there is no further record from this area.  Mr A. Joubert reported the presence of the species on three different farms about the known type locality.  There cannot be a relation with H. bruynsii as suggested in 1982 and perhaps the clarification of H. emelyae and H. bayeri will lend more credence to the probability that it is related to the latter.  The species includes forms with very attractive reticulate venation in the upper exposed leaf surfaces which normally only have longitudinal venation.

Distribution: 3324 (Steytlerville): Springbokvlakte (-BD), Scott 245 (PRE), Smith 3585 (NBG), Bayer in KG402/70 (NBG); W. Kleinpoort (-BD), Smith 3590 (NBG); Kleinpoort (-BD), Smith 3585, 3238 (NBG); Two Waters (-BD), Smith 2916 (NBG).

Inadequately located: Malherbe in NBG1003/39, Barker 5068 (NBG), Smith 3530 (NBG).