Dec. Plant of the Month (2006) Haworthia cooperi

A more in-depth look at individual succulent species, a new one is added each week.
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 2:57 pm
Location: Leeds, England

Dec. Plant of the Month (2006) Haworthia cooperi

Post by templegatejohn »

Haworthia cooperi Baker


Growth Habits: Haworthia cooperi forms a rosette of extremely succulent leaves, in fact they are so succulent that you can see the veining in the leaves and almost see through the leaves themselves and they are the most beautiful emerald green. The rosettes form clumps reasonably quickly if grown well.

Scientific name:
Haworthia cooperi

Synonym: Haworthia vittata

Etymology: Haworthia is named after the English botanist Adrian Hardy Haworth

Origin: South Africa (Eastern Cape Province)

Light: Light shade to shade

Compost: A good open compost is really all that is required, perhaps a little richer in nutrients than many of the succulents require.

Haworthias will stand reasonable amounts of water when in growth. Each grower should work within their own growing conditions and of course the vagaries of the weather.

The flowers of Haworthias are certainly nothing to write home about and this species is no exception. They are borne on the typical long inflorescence and are a dirty pinkish white and bell shaped

Min. temp: The genus has so many differing types of plant form that it is difficult to be too specific, but most will stand quite cool temperatures as long as there is no frost.

Cultivation: Haworthias as a genus are not too difficult to grow and anyone with a love for succulents is sure to have at least one or two of them. They are more diverse in shape than perhaps any other genus apart perhaps from Euphorbias. They will thrive in a shaded part of the greenhouse where perhaps other plants would let you know that they were not happy. There one failing and one that they are famous for is that from time to time they will lose their roots and the grower should be aware of this and get to know his plants. A normal watering regime of a plant that has lost its roots is condemning it to certain death. A gentle tug from time to time to see that they are secure in the pot is as good a way as any of checking the roots are OK. It is not a disaster if the root system is lost as the plant will normally happily throw out new roots if given the right treatment., shade and a slightly moist but very free draining compost. Haworthias can be reproduced through seed, ‘pups’ or plantlets and less successfully be leaf cuttings.

Habitat: Eastern Cape Province is one of the most diverse landscapes in South Africa containing lush grass land right through to the dry desert regions of the Karoo. One of the main dangers for the plant is cattle both feeding and trampling on them.

Comments: Haworthia cooperi is not an ‘in your face’ type of plant, but like most small jewels bears closer inspection. It has many varieties, some a little darker green in colour and some with slightly more pointed leaves. All are worth having and do not take up too much room in the collection One word of warning, The fleshy transparent green leaves seem to have a fatal fascination for . . . No, not mealy bugs, not red spider, scale or fungus, but grandchildren, particularly my two year old, Jamie. I used to have a bit of a reputation as a fearsome guy. Rugby, football, boxing and all that, but now even my two year old grandson laughs at me if I try to tell him off. My wife has been doing it for years so it was bound to rub off on somebody sooner or later. Even the dog pleases himself these days.