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|Distribution:||Africa: South Africa: Western Cape:|
Haworthia joleneae - Dr M. Hayashi. A short summary by Gerhard Marx.
Haworthia joleneae is one of several very exciting discoveries made by Bruce Bayer and his wife Daphne about 10 years ago in the Potberg area along the south-western Cape Province coast.
The first of these very unique and exciting new finds was MBB 7248, a distinctly pilose plant occurring in a very small area north-west of Infanta and which has now been named Haworthia bobii. Soon after the discovery of Haworthia bobii, a very closely related but quite distinct Haworthia was found about 25 km to the north (MBB 7514 and MBB 7520). It differed from Haworthia bobii by being consistently glabrous. The same smooth and glossy component was also later found at a few other localities a few km to the south – MBB 7608 and MBB 7609. This attractive glabrous plant has recently been given full species status and named Haworthia joleneae by Dr Hayashi. The decisions for giving it full species status were based upon the facts that in cultivation Haworthia joleneae grows to a considerably larger size than Haworthia bobii and while its flowers are essentially similar to that of Haworthia bobii, it has more slender and longer fruits. There is also a clear gap of about 15 km between Haworthia bobii and the nearest Haworthia joleneae (MBB 7609). There is therefore no gradual transition over the fifteen kilometre gap between the two and they are clearly and consistently distinguishable - even the least hairy Haworthia bobii specimen can still be easily distinguished from the glabrous Haworthia joleneae.
Both Haworthia bobii and Haworthia joleneae share the same leaf-shape and smooth leaf-sides as found in Haworthia badia and together with Haworthia hammeri form an interconnected group with Haworthia badia. In cultivation Haworthia joleneae display a wide range of leaf patterns and colours and some plants develop a strikingly unique almost black colour. In the wild the plants remain very small and grow flush with the ground on north and east-facing slopes of low hills amongst grass and fynbos scrub and in very rocky areas amongst a mixture of broken sandstone and quartzite.
The distribution of Haworthia joleneae and the closely related Haworthia bobii seems to be restricted to the area between the Breede river and the Potberg. No populations of the latter have been found east of the Breede River or west of the Potberg.
Haworthia joleneae was named in honour of Jolene Kemp, the kind-spirited daughter of Mr Johan Kemp, owner of the farm where Haworthia joleneae grows.
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