Desert Plants
Home Genus Cultivars Bulbs for Sale Auction Seed Haworthia


Haworthia truncata
Select and click for a larger image.

Distribution: Africa: South Africa: Western Cape:


Haworthia truncata and its close relative Haworthia papillaris (or Haworthia truncata 'papillaris') are the only known Haworthia species with a distichous leaf arrangement.

This distinguishing quality is shared only by some related Gasteria species and two Aloe species. Furthermore the leaves are truncated and deeply sunk into the soil leaving only the tips of the leaves protruding above. This curious arrangement together with the truncated leaves have earned the plants the Afrikaans name "Perdetande" (Eng: Horses teeth).

A number of different forms are found in the wild and it maybe necessary to name further distinctions to bring it in line with a usable current approach of the retuse Haworthias. Because of their unique distichous nature and similar flowering times one is perhaps less likely to accept new species names in the Truncata aggregate.

This unique succulent plant has its distribution in the districts of Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp. The plants from Calitzdorp have relatively fatter leaves than the Oudtshoorn forms and have also been referred to as var. crassa for some time.

The plants are usually found growing in rather bare patches of reddish-brown ferri-crete stones (ysterklip in Afrikaans). They invariably nestle themselves between these stones.The plants sometimes grow in the open but prefer to be protected by other shrub. The closely related Haworthia maughanii from Calitzdorp has a similar habit.

The cultivation of Haworthia truncata is not difficult. The plants like a well drained soil with a little compost and must only be watered when the soil has dried out. Plants should be kept in partial shade. The withdrawal of the leaves into the ground is due to the contractile habit of the thick roots. It is therefore advisable to plant Haworthia truncata in fairly deep pots. The propagation is from seed, leaf-cutting or root cuttings. A leaf-cutting should be made exactly at the base of the leaf. The wound must be allowed to dry for a day or two after which it can be planted in peat or similar medium. Thick roots can be taken off at the base of the plant and planted with the top part protruding above the ground. These should start making new plantlets within a couple of weeks or months. Haworthia truncata is a slow grower and it takes many years to produce a sizable plant.

Some plants have beautiful white marking which have kindled the imagination of especially Japanese growers and through selective cross pollination and hybridization have created some exceptionally attractive cultivars. Some of these cultivars are now being pollinated and hybridized with natural and other material in South Africa by Mr. Gerhard Marx. The markings only develop with age and it is difficult to tell how attractive a seedling eventually will become.

Besides many pictures of cultivars I hope to update regularly with photographs of different populations.

Habitat images:

Dysselsdorp (VDV 120): Robust plants that are often well marked with indentations on the leaf edges. This is a fairly large population from near Dysselsdorp and is spread over a large area. This desirable form often forms large clumbs. The Dysselsdorp population is some 20 km east of Oudtshoorn.

Near Schoemanshoek: The Schoemanshoek locality is approximately some 12 km north of Oudtshoorn. These plants are medium to large in size and many have attractive markings. The leaf edges are normally less irregular than the plants from Dysselsdorp. A number of these plants have been used to make exceptional cultivars. The images of Schoemanshoek are provided by Mr. Gerhard Marx.

Volmoed: This locality is some 15 km south west of Oudtshoorn. Plants are spread intermittently over a wide area usually where fericrete stones are present although some have wandered off into shale at times. The plants are of medium size with markings or with little thereof. Gerhard Marx mentions that the Volmoed plants are particularly slow growing from seed.

Waaikraal south of Dysselsdorp (VDV 121): A locality seen by very few enthusiasts. The plants occur in tiny pockets few and far between but widespread over a large ferri-crete stone area. The medium sized plants occur on the hillsides and spread further southwards on the stony plain. What is interesting is that the plants do not only occur in the orange/brown ferri-crete stones as is to typical of the species, but also in white ferri-crete. The plants are usually not well marked but a distinguishing feature is their shiny smooth surface. This locality is only a few kilometer to the south of the famous Dysselsdorp (VDV 120) locality, but the plants look markedly different. To the east of this locality occurs the small hairy Haworthia truncata or Haworthia papillaris. I revisited this locality on 25 July 2013 and added the latest pictures.

Haworthia papillaris east of Waaikraal: Since Ingo Breuer has given this specific form an own species name I shall include one image here and the rest of the data at Haworthia papillaris

East of Ebenezer (09/7/14): This locality was discovered very recently by Gerhard Marx and I when exploring some ferricrete hills south of Schoemanshoek.

The plants seem very variable. Some plants do resemble the Schoemanshoek forms while others are notably different. The leaf shapes seem to resemble a whole spectrum of plants from other localities making it rather difficult to give plants from this site some unique attributes. Some plants are well marked while others are quite plain. Also some rough and smaller forms exist.

So far this fairly large colony was found on one patch on the southern side of a long east-west stretching hill while on other promising areas no Haworthia truncata were found. Other Haworthia found in the vicinity were Haworthia arachnoidea (cangoensis) and Haworthia tuberculata.


Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Near Dysselsdorp. South of Dysselsdorp. This locality has not been seen by many people. The plants are only lightly tubercled giving the leaf surface a shiny appearance. Some plants have white markings while others are plain. South of Dysselsdorp. The smooth surface is typical but the plant has some markings and smoothly curved leaf-edges. Near Volmoed south-west of Oudtshoorn.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Plant from Buffelsdrif north of Oudthoorn. The neatly arranged leaves are typical here. Haworthia truncata "Princess". An attractive natural from Buffelsdrift grown from a leaf cutting. Selecting parents have produces numerous white markings. Plant from Japanese horticultural origin. A beautiful cultivar with yellow-green markings also created Mr. Marx.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
An old variegated plant with numerous heads created by Mr. Marx. Haworthia 'Truleigh' . A horticultural hybrid created by crossing Haworthia truncata and Haworthia leightonii. Created by Gerhard Marx by selecting the parents for specific qualities from the same locality at Schoemanshoek. Schoemanshoek form. Another selected seedling from Mr. Marx.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
A horticultural cultivar probably from Japanese origin. Cultivated by Gerhard Marx. From the collection of Mr. Marx. A cultivar created by G. Marx. From the collection of Mr. Marx.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Brilliant white markings on the leaves. Original plant from Dr. M. Hayashi. Attractive white markings with dark green islands. This plant originates from Mr. Seiji Sakai. Ex Fyntwa Succulents. From unknown origin - Ex collection of G. Marx.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Haworthia truncata 'Miayi'. Created by G. Marx. Grown from seed sown in 1987 - Ex Dysselsdorp grown by G. Marx. Japanese cultivar - Ex G. Marx.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Cultivar created by G.Marx. Robust form (VDV 120) near Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Dysselsdorp habitat. Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp. Dysselsdorp.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Schoemanshoek. Schoemanshoek. Schoemanshoek. Schoemanshoek.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Schoemanshoek. Schoemanshoek. Volmoed habitat. Volmoed-Growing in association with Haworthia sakai.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Volmoed-Growing in association with Glottiphyllum depressum. Volmoed-A plant with seedpods growing in full sun. More info at Haworthia papillaris. Waaikraal.One of the habitats. This one with mostly white ferri-crete stones.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Waaikraal.The smooth leaves are typical at this location. Waaikraal. Waaikraal. Waaikraal.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Waaikraal. Waaikraal.Growing together with Eriospermum sp. Waaikraal. Waaikraal.If it was not for the old seed stalk I probably would have missed this one.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
Waaikraal.This one with rather relatively thick leaves- reminiscent of the 'crassa' form from Calizdorp. Haworthia truncata - 'Fonte'- a horticultural specimen Habitat east of Ebenezer. Growing together with Gasteria brachyphylla/bayer - East of Ebenezer.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
East of Ebenezer - Some plants have quite fat leaves. East of Ebenezer - Some plants with smooth leaves resemble those from Waaikraal. East of Ebenezer. East of Ebenezer.
Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata Haworthia truncata
East of Ebenezer - Some rough forms exists. These plants are usually smaller and have fewer markings. East of Ebenezer. East of Ebenezer. East of Ebenezer.
Haworthia truncata
East of Ebenezer- Resembling somewhat the plants from north of Dysselsdorp.



Complete plantnames alphabetically
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z