Haworthia cuspidata f. variegata
Haworthia batesiana var. lepida
Haworthia cymbiformis f. gracilidelineata
Haworthia cymbiformis f. planifolia
Haworthia cymbiformis var. cymbiformis
Haworthia cuspidate is native to Cape Provinces but the variegated form has garden origin.
Haworthia cuspidata f. variegata is an uncommon succulent belonging to the Asphodelaceae botanical family. The plant is stemless, offsets freely and forms clumps of rosettes. The dense rosette, star-like is reduced in size and can reach up to 10 cm in diameter. The leaves are thick, triangular, pointed at the apex, curved upwards, pale green in color with large white stripes; the tips are translucent and act like windows, allowing sun to enter inside of the leaf for chlorophyll processing. Blooming occurs from late spring to late summer and the blossoms are borne near the apex of the rosette. The flowers are tubular, small, whitish, borne at the apex of the stem. The inflorescence can reach up to 20 cm in height. The flowers are small, bell-shaped and brwnish-green in color. The variegation is due to the loss of the ability to produce chlorophyll in some tissues of the plant, so that this tissue is no longer green. Chlorophyll-free tissues are usually white or pale yellow coloured (due to carotenoid pigments) in contrast to the normal green tissue.
The plant has a slow growth rate but it easy to cultivate. The plant grows well in light shade or shade because the sun-light could burn the leaves. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. Temperatures below 5° C can damage the plant so it is best to shelter it or place it in a cold greenhouse during the winter. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The best draining soil for this genus is made up of 50% fertile loam and 50% pumice or lapillus. A little pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. In Spring and Autumn, the plant can be watered with a glass of water every week; in summer it can be watered with three glasses of water a week; in winter stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. The plant must be fed with a high potassium fertilizer in the summer. You can dilute the fertilizer twice a month in the irrigation water. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; it is usually done every 2-3 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use cuttings. For leaf cutting you can cut some healthy leaves and plant it in a pot with sand and loam. Place the pot in a warm and bright environment and in 1-2 months the cuttings will be ready to plant. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.
The name of this genus is a tribute to the botanist Adrian Hardy Haworth (1767-1833). The specific epithet comes from Latin and means “pointed” and refers to the shape of the leaves.
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