Haworthia maughanii von Poelln
Growth Habits: The plant has truncate [cut off at the tips], ‘finger-like’ growths, flat to rounded at the ends and fenestrate [bearing windows at the tips]. These windows are perhaps not as apparent as in say Frithia or Fenestraria, but nevertheless they are there and the inner structure of the plant can be seen through the tips. The plant is dark green in colour and slower growing than many of its close relatives. In habitat only the tips of the leaves would be visible, hence the need for the fenestrate tips.
Scientific name: Haworthia maughanii
Common names: None known.
Synonym: None known.
Etymology: The genus Haworthia is named after Adrian Hardy Haworth, an English entomologist and botanist.
Origin: South Africa: Little Karoo in the Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp area.
Light: As with many Haworthia this plant prefers light shade and will even do well in shade. In light shade the plant will have leaves of a rich green. In sun the leaves will turn a reddish brown.
Compost: Virtually all the Haworthia species need well drained soil. Many of them have a nasty habit of losing their roots . These will grow again, but if the compost is constantly wet the plant will probably rot and die.
Water: Water with care, but when growing strongly it will take a reasonable amount.
Flower: The flower is white to pinkish and again as with most Haworthia is on a long stem that lifts it well above the plant body.
Fruit: The fruit is relatively large for the size of the individual flower and rounded to elongate.
Min. temp: This plant like most Haworthias does very well with a cool winter temperature 45°f. (8°c) is quite adequate.
Cultivation: It is not too difficult to grow (but not, I would suggest a plant for the beginner). Although the plant is small it needs plenty of room for its contractile roots, which it sends down in the mistaken belief that it may have to drag itself down in the compost to avoid the worst of the South African sun. It will in time offset, but much more slowly than truncata. It can be propagated from individual leaves if you can bear to take them off such a slow growing plant, but outer leaves are probably already too senile to get satisfactory results. Leaves that are still turgid [full of sap] are the best.
Habitat: It can be found in the Little Karoo in the Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp area in conjunction with its companion species Haworthia truncata. The area is very diverse with several mountain ranges and rivers. Both maughanii and truncata are found in the succulent Karoo vegetation. The Little Karoo has rainfall peaks that coincide with the equinoxes in March and September, with a very hot, dry period in January and February.
Comments: Most enthusiasts either love or hate this truncate type of Haworthia. “They just sit there” is the comment of many, meaning that they are slow growing, but so are many cacti. The flower is certainly nothing to write home about, but the structure of the plant is its attractiveness to most people. Once again the Japanese have perfected the art of propagating plant material from this species and have produced a selection of variegated hybrids that can literally cost a fortune.
A more in-depth look at individual succulent species, a new one is added each week.
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