ISI 2014-23. Haworthia mucronata Haw.

H. mucronata is such a variable entity that one wonders how to make sense of them taxonomically. Bruce Bayer still wrestles with that after a lifetime’s study. Nevertheless, he has distinguished a number of varieties that are scattered through the interior of the W. Cape. Those who like clear pigeonholes will find a confounding degree of geographical overlap. Likewise each variety displays a range of variation, often from completely glabrous with translucent windows to opaque and densely covered with teeth and every combination of those features. Clearly there is room for further research. Nevertheless, if one is willing to revel in this wonderful array of natural variation, there are numerous horticultural gems to appreciate. Here we offer two nearly identical clones that fall into the type var. mucronata. These are glabrous and without translucent windows on the awn-tipped leaves. Past efforts at pollination have yielded a few seedlings, miniature copies of their parents. However, the quantity needed for this offering was made possible via tissue culture which tends to produce more clumping plants. We offer HBG 65368 and HBG 65369 corresponding to MV 4230 and MV 4231 respectively. MV refers to the late Michael Vassar who received the plants as Haworthia unicolor v. helmiae, a synonym, in January, 1990, with the following data: S. Africa: W. Cape, Schoemans Poort, N of Oudtshoorn. This is a mountainous area where the plants were reported to grow among scrub & rocks on steep south-facing slopes. $7.

overview, two plants

Photo © 2014 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 86 (2), March - April, 2014