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|Distribution:||Africa: South Africa: Western Cape:|
Haworthia maraisii occurs over a large area from around Bredasdorp to Barrydale. Except for a few populations the plants are usually small dark green and difficult to detect. Sometimes they are proliferous often single. It is also somewhat difficult to separate them from certain Haworthia magnifica forms or others depending on the locality. The similar Haworthia schuldtiana I shall for now treat as Haworthia maraisii. As with many Haworthias changes occur from population to population. On the other hand, at certain populations that are separated by many kilometers the plants look rather similar.
23 July 2013. Klein Doornrivier 25 km east of Barrydale in the Little Karoo.
According to Gerhard Marx the plants look very similar to the Stormsvlei forms (Haworthia schuldtiana -Breuer). Haworthia schuldtiana was originally described from plants near McGregor and is now applied to numerous populations over quite a large area from around Ashton to Bredasdorp (Breuer). Other similar magnifica/maraisii like plants are found in between these populations making it difficult to distinguish between 'species'. This population falls outside the previously known range of either Haworthia maraisii or Haworthia schuldtiana. The plants seem to fit better in the Haworthia mirabilis/magnifica/maraisii complex than in the retusa/turgida/pygmaea(etc)/picta(emelyae) complex. The plants in habitat sometimes nestle themselves in cracks in the rocks and with an occasional few translucent dots under the leaves may look similar to Haworthia wimii. The flowers however clearly link the plants to the Haworthia maraisii etc group. Cultivated plants show the differences more clearly. Flowering times and characteristics can be a guide to establish the relationship between the plants, but there is a lot of deviation here also adding to the complexities of the Genus. Plants that normally flower in autumn in the wild sometimes flower late winter in cultivation (e.g. Haworthia splendens). The flowering time of the Haworthia bayeri group is anything but stable etc. Although at least two groups of retusoid Haworthias seem to exist in the coastal areas I am not entirely convinced that these do not merge into one group at times, even extending their relationship into lesser- or non-retuse Haworthias. Although it would be desirable to treat these 'groups' as species it may well result in such a huge (and uncertain) conglomerate of single species with many forms that practicalities may just forbid us to take this route.
The following as per Mr. Gerhard Marx:
The population of Haworthia maraisii on the farm Klein Doornrivier, east of Barrydale could perhaps be the easternmost locality for Haworthia maraisii. M.B. Bayer’s number for this population on Klein Doornrivier is MBB 7847 and is labelled 'Haworthia emelyae' based upon the fact that the so-called Haworthia emelyae var major grows only 25 km to the east. However, the Klein Doornrivier plants look identical to forms of Haworthia maraisii encountered in the Stormsvlei and Swellendam areas and also share identical flowers and flowering time with typical Haworthia maraisii. Klein Doornrivier borders on the west with Brandrivier farm where Haworthia emelyae var multifolia grows together with a yet un-described variant of Haworthia magnifica and the well-known Brandrivier endemic, Haworthia opalina. At Barrydale, 25 km to the west of Klein Doornrivier, Haworthia maraisii can be found again but in slightly lighter green form with less rough translucent leaves, very reminiscent of Haworthia magnifica but lacking the silvery white flecking in the leaf windows (= the well-known ‘Haworthia magnifica JDV 97-39’). The Haworthia maraisii plants on Klein Doornrivier grow on south slopes amongst sandstone rocks on low hills amongst fynbos and thatch-reed ( Restio) clumps.
Images at Klein Doornrivier supplied by Gerhard Marx.
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