Monday, February 17, 2014

Unfinished business: Haworthia NOID

About a year ago, I posted about some odd behavior from a few of my Haworthias. They're some of my oldest plants, and had never done anything particularly weird before, but all of a sudden they decided to go from looking like this --

-- to this --

and I wasn't sure what was going on. I still don't know, but a recent comment on that post prompted me to share an update. This is what they look like now:

Which I guess is improvement, kind of. It at least seems like a more natural look than either of the first two photos. But the whole process was a little scary, and I'm not sure what to do with them now. Perhaps I ought to propagate?


Paul said...

Not sure what was going on with the "deflated" look in the second picture. However with regards to all the pups ...

1) Some Haws are prolific puppers, some species are extremely stingy.

2) IME, most Haws do not typically pup from underneath momma as to aloes and most other plants. Instead, the pups arise between the leaves along the stem as you see with yours.

Once the pups get a bit on the larger size as yours have, they should have formed some roots -- at the very least some root nubs. Often simply rocking the pup side to side will separate it from mom. I have actually had a pup get popped free without my doing anything. (Fortunate for the pup as I discovered this before it had desiccated... while free of mom it was still deceptively sitting between her leaves.) If the pups are not removed, I suspect their roots will eventually grow down to the soil.

Peter said...

Let the propagations begin!

Unknown said...

Me Again!
I'm starting to incline towards Haworthia mirabilis of some sort, possible var. triebneriana or var. paradoxa. Does your plant have small bristles on the edge of the leaves at each side of the window at the leaf tip. It also remind me a bit of some of the larger cymbiformis types, but they don't have the bristly edges. Check out these photos:

Ciao, KK.

mr_subjunctive said...


Yes, the leaves have small bristles near the tips.

Is H. mirabilis common enough in the plant trade that it's plausible for me to have found it for sale at a garden center in Iowa in 2004?

Unknown said...

I can't speak to the historical availability of Haworthia plants in the USA, since I am in Australia. However, H. mirabilis was first described by Adrian Hardy Haworth in 1812, H. paradoxa by Karl von Poellnitz in 1933 and H. triebneriana by Karl von Poellnitz in 1937 so I would think that enough time would have passed for someone to be growing these taxa commercially in the USA.

One of the things which muddies the waters somewhat is the constant tendency for specialist Haworthia growers to constantly pick out the prettiest and most extremely decorated clones to represent the species they claim to own. This gives people entirely the wrong idea of what kind of variability most species of this genus can actually encompass - leading to very narrow ideas of what constitutes a species. Martin Beyer probably has the right idea, botanically speaking - he considers that there are probably about 60 actual species of Haworthia - all the other names have been published for plants that are just extreme selections or local geographic variants.

The existing synonymy for H. mirabilis is quite lengthy. I started to list them here, but think it better to just give you and any other readers the links I am working from. Here: is Bayer's discussion of what constitutes H. mirabilis and Here: is the list of Bayer's accepted names, last updated at the start of 2013, so I consider it the best available reference. I hope these help.

Ciao, KK.

bruce bayer said...

I think the two plants are H. cooperi and H. retusa respectively and the strongly recurved leaves are a consequence of too little light and possibly too much nutrition and water.

Anonymous said...

probblly got to much sun