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Haworthia apta
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Distribution: Africa: South Africa: Western Cape:


Haworthia apta refers to relatives of Haworthia arachnoidea that are found spread over a number of hills in the Schoemanspoort, north of Oudtshoorn. The area in question is close to the turnoff to Raubenheimer Dam from the Cango Caves main road. Noteworthy is the sparse distribution of bristles on the leaf-ends making the plants almost glabrous in a number of cases.

This characteristic is not unique to plants from this area alone, but occurs also in other areas e.g. the Ladismith and Barrydale districts. As far as the Oudtshoorn district goes however this population is the only one known to me,

In other areas of the Schoemanspoort Haworthia arachnoidea affiliates occur that are densely bristled and these are readily distinguished from Haworthia apta and it appears these different kinds are at least geographically separated by a number of kilometers.

One way of looking at it would be to regard all these different forms as a single variable conglomerate of Haworthia arachnoidea. Another way would be to separate them into different species or varieties etc. Both systems seem to have pros and cons. The latter however gives us the opportunity to communicate clearly about specific plants.

There has been some confusion to names being applied to these Haworthias in the past. This species Was referred to as Haworthia helmiae (helmae). This however seems an error as the latter has a somewhat vaque locality reference and the plants resemble more Haworthia heroldia or elizae from near the Outeniqua/Langeberg range.

Haworthia apta is mostly confined to rather steep slippery cliffs with a somewhat southerly inclination, and the way up is usually blessed with thick shrub that often hides hooking thorn bushes, notorious for not releasing their victims without blood loss and making ventilation holes in clothes.

From the photographs it may appear that a number of plant grow out in the open. This is however seldom true as the vegetation in general will ensure some shade during the day,


Haworthia apta Haworthia apta Haworthia apta Haworthia apta
Clump forming with age Haworthia apta in habitat Schoemanspoort Oudtshoorn. Growing in a crack of a rock.
Haworthia apta
A sun exposed specimen. The plants often share habitat with Crassula orbicularis.



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