(Aloacee - Liliaceae)
Haworthia emelyae var. comptoniana
(G.G. Sm.) J.D. Venter &
West of Willowmore - road to De Rust
South Africa (Georgida), in the Willowmore District. This plant comes
from a very small area no larger than 10 by 15 metres in
it often grows under stones. It is very rare in the field.
name "Haworthia" is
named after the British botanist Adrian Hardy
"emelyae" was named
after Mrs. Emely Ferguson, Riversdale, RSA
"comptoniana" was named
in honour of Prof. R.H. Compton.
growth is almost entirely
subterranean, with only the leaves'
exposed to the
atmosphere at the
soil level (see:
Stemless rosette succulent.
Leaves: Broad triangular, (4-5cm long and 2cm wide at the
retuse leaf-end area is
reticulate with pale white-flecked "veins"
running into lines that converge at the apex.
These leaves form a
rosette that is 5-9 cm in diameter, up to 120
mm in cultivation,
with 15 to 20 leaves (plants in habitat
are barely 3 cm across!). The
reticulation and relative length of the leaves are quite
variable. The tops of the leaves near the centre of the plant
becomes reddish in
winter and in sunny expositions.
2-lipped white with greenish veins, borne on a 20 cm tall
Notes: The diversity between H. emelyae and this variety is
the smoothness and dimension of the plants, they are usually
smoother and larger sized.
shade (with a few hours of sun) the green
fenestration of this plant
turn to a rich red-brown. Very nice!
Contractile roots are
found in many plants
species mainly at the
base of an
succulent rosette, etc.)
The contractile roots continually pull the plants deeper into
ground as the stem
elongates so the it remain
subterranean or at an appropriate level in the ground..
Contractile roots are usually broad,
fleshy, vertical, tapering,
wrinkled looking and very distinct of the rather
absorbent roots and are capable of incredible effort.
In most cases, contractile roots not only produce a strong
pulling force on but also push away the
substratum and create a
soil channel in which plant movement is made easier. For example
in Haworthia the
fleshy contractile roots swell with
wet season creating a space in the
substrate then - after
drying out of
soil during the
dry season - a
considerable parts of this roots
die off leaving empty spaces in
substratum that allow plant movement with minimum or no
resistance, at the same time the other roots
dehydrates and shrinks
vertically, drawing the plant down into the ground. This is
repeated early permitting the top of the plant to remain
constantly at the
Easy to cultivate, it
Frost Tolerance: Light frost protection
Minimum of 5º
C for safe growing (but hardy up to
Sun Exposure: Requires light shade,
to bright light
(protect from direct sun)
Seeds, offsets, micropropagation.
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and