Ingo Beuer has reinstated Haworthia comptoniana (Haworthia emelyae 'comptoniana' - Bayer- previously Haworthia emelyae var. comptoniana) on species level. This maybe a sensible approach when dealing with a genus that often has many in between forms. More names give more scope in describing new plants found. This will not solve the taxonomical problems of Haworthia, but should alleviate them somewhat.
The varietal status of Haworthia comptoniana was based largely on localities of Haworthia janvlokii (emelyae - Bayer) near the Kammanassie Dam. The Haworthia janvlokii from near Kammanassie Dam are more robust then Haworthia picta and have in cultivation a growth tempo comparable to that of Haworthia comptoniana. Other features may emphasize this relationship but the occasional somewhat rounded leaftips and slightly convex leaves of Haworthia janvlokii are not really shared by Haworthia comptoniana. The latter tends towards a little concave dip in the leaves. The leaf markings also differ. Haworthia comptoniana is far removed (about 80 km to the east) from the Kammanassie Haworthia janvlokii. It is a fascinating species, found in the Eastern Cape where the only other member of the retuse group appears to be Haworthia bayeri. Incidently Haworthia bayeri is found in close proximity to Haworthia comptoniana. Notwithstanding what is written above, the closest relative of Haworthia comptoniana probably is Haworthia picta (emelyae) or Haworthia janvlokii. Explorations intended to find similar or linking plants in this 80 km gap have proved fruitless so far. The search is bound to continue however.
All (Old Mavica) photographs by Gerhard Marx.