Haworthia attenuata v zebrina Haw.
Growth Habits: Forms clumps of rosettes up to 6in. or even 7in. (12-15 cms.) diameter of dark green fleshy leaves that are quite tightly packed, with attractive white tubercule marking, that are banded horizontally across the plant leaves (hence the variety name). The plant is not a particularly fast grower, but will begin to clump in time, if given the correct growing conditions is one of the more beautiful Haworthia, of which there are many.
Scientific name: Haworthia attenuata v zebrina
Common names: Zebra plant.
Synonym: Apicra attenuata, Aloe caliper. Here are a couple, there are too many to mention here.
Etymology: The genus Haworthia is named after Adrian Hardy Haworth, an English entomologist and botanist.
Origin: South Africa, The Eastern Cape
Light: Like most Haworthia the plant likes light shade to shade. They are ideal plants for filling the space low down in a greenhouse where they will thrive.
Compost: A gritty open compost is essential for Haworthia plants. Wet compost is a killer for this genus.
Water: The plant will take water on a regular basis, the trick is not to over water and never water until the compost is almost dry.
Flower: The flower is pretty nondescript, like most Haworthia flower. It is a dirty white colour, (those of a more generous nature may say lightish pink), bell like and the blooms appear sporadically on a long stem.
Fruit: The fruits are small hard capsules and they should be left on the plant if you wish to harvest your own seed. The seeds do not keep very well so should be sown immediately.
Min. temp: A minimum of 50f° 10c° is adequate if they are kept fairly dry. If the air is very dry perhaps a small amount of water mid winter will keep the plant turgid.
Cultivation: They are not difficult plants to grow, but have a tendency, perhaps more than any other succulent genus to ‘lose’ their roots, for no apparent reason. The good thing is that you can usually root them again fairly easily. Young plantlets can be detached and rooted. Sometimes young plantlets will even begin to grow half way up the long flower stem.
Habitat: The Eastern Cape is the home to some of the most unusual and ornate plants in the whole of Africa. Scenic diversity is one of the most striking characteristics of the region, ranging from the lush, evergreen Tsitsikamma Forest to the rugged Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, the southern slopes of the Drakensberg and the arid Great Karoo. Alternating between sweeping sand, river mouths and rocks. Many Haworthia can be found in the deep soil filled pockets between rocks.
Comments: There are not many collections that do not have at least one or two Haworthia. The flowers are not very showy and the plants themselves can become straggly if left to their own devices, but they seem to have a charm all of their own that attracts collectors to them.
A more in-depth look at individual succulent species, a new one is added each week.
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