Haworthia emelyae var. comptoniana is a succulent that forms stemless, usually solitary rosettes. Its growth is almost entirely underground…
|Family:||Asphodelaceae (as-foh-del-AY-see-ee) (Info)|
|Genus:||Haworthia (ha-WORTH-ee-a) (Info)|
|Species:||emelyae var. comptoniana|
|Synonym:||Haworthia comptoniana f. major|
|Synonym:||Haworthia picta var. comptoniana|
|Synonym:||Haworthia retusa var. comptoniana|
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Can be grown as an annual
Suitable for growing in containers
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed direct sow after last frost
From seed germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
Casa de Oro-Mount Helix, California
Vista, California(9 reports)
On Jun 1, 2009, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:
I grow mine as houseplants and they forgive me for giving them almost no care.
On Oct 9, 2007, thistlesifter from Vista, CA wrote:
One of the easiest of all Haworthia subgenus Haworthia plants. It has infinite variability within its Identification key bounds.
Additionally, is readily hybridized in ways that can be enhancing to its own children offspring characteristics. or that can offer unique qualities to many of the more beautiful species from whom it can fathers new crosses..
On Feb 15, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
This species rarely produces suckers (pups).
If you are not familiar with its cultivation, research information on growing and/or propagating techniques because a haworthia requires special care that is too detailed to list here.
Accepted Scientific Name: Haworthia emelyae var. comptoniana (G.G.Sm.) J.D.Venter & S.A.Hammer
Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 69(2): 77. 1997
Origin and Habitat: South Africa (Georgida), in the Willowmore District.
Habitat: This plant comes from a very small area no larger than 10 by 15 metres in quartz patches and often grows under stones. It is very rare in the field and grows in very close association with Haworthia bayeri.
Description: Haworthia emelyae var. comptoniana is a distinct variety most sought after for the flattened, entirely smooth leaf-ends, and is particularly attractive. The plants are bigger than in Haworthia emelyae (the nearest relative), growing up to 120 mm in diameter in cultivation. Where H. emelyae is generally tinted purplish-brown, H. comptoniana is usually green.
Habit: Stemless rosette succulent, generally solitary, its growth is almost entirely subterranean, with only the leaves' apex exposed to the atmosphere at the soil level (see: geophyte plants)
Life span: They may not be very long-lived in nature with a life span of 15-20 years.
Rosette: These leaves form a stemless rosette, seldom proliferous, usually 5-9(-12) cm in diameter, with 15 to 20 leaves (plants in habitat are barely 3 cm across!).
Leaves: Broad triangular, (4-5 cm long and 2 cm wide at the base). The retuse leaf-end area is pellucid and reticulate with pale white-flecked "veins" running into lines that converge at the apex. The colour, reticulation and relative length of the leaves are quite variable some are pale coloured with little contrast between the reticulation and the background colour and translucence of the leaf. Other plants are darker coloured or with more conspicuous specks and marked reticulation, and they are are much more attractive.
Flower: 2-lipped white with greenish veins, borne on a 20 cm tall inflorescence.
Remarks: The diversity between Haworthia emelyae and this variety is the smoothness and dimension of the plants, they are usually smoother and larger sized.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Haworthia emeliae group
Notes: Contractile roots are found in many plants species mainly at the base of an underground organ (bulb, corm, succulent rosette, etc.) The contractile roots continually pull the plants deeper into the ground as the stem elongates so the it remain subterranean or at an appropriate level in the ground.. Contractile roots are usually broad, fleshy, vertical, tapering, wrinkled looking and very distinct of the rather cylindrical fine absorbent roots and are capable of incredible effort.
In most cases, contractile roots not only produce a strong pulling force on but also push away the substratum and create a soil channel in which plant movement is made easier. For example in Haworthia the fleshy contractile roots swell with moisture in the wet season creating a space in the substrate then - after the full drying out of soil during the dry season - a considerable parts of this roots die off leaving empty spaces in the substratum that allow plant movement with minimum or no resistance, at the same time the other roots dehydrates and shrinks vertically, drawing the plant down into the ground. This is repeated early permitting the top of the plant to remain constantly at the soil level.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons” Springer, 01/gen/2001
2) M. B. Bayer “The new Haworthia handbook” National Botanic Gardens of South Africa, 1982
3) John Pilbeam “Haworthia and Astroloba: A Collector's Guide” 1983
4) Stuart Max Walters, James Cullen “The European Garden Flora: Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae, Angiospermae” Cambridge University Press, 1986
5) John Robert Brown "Unusual Plants:110 Spectacular Photographs of Succulents" Abbey Garden Press, 1954
6) Doreen Court “Succulent Flora of Southern Africa” Struik Nature, 2010
7) Bayer, MB “Haworthia Revisited: A revision of the genus” Umdaus Press, Hatfield. 1999
8) Hilton-Taylor, C.. “Red data list of southern African plants.” Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria. 1996
9) Bruce Bayer "Leaf sequence in Haworthia emelyae ‘comptoniana’ over a 20 month period" Posted on August 29, 2013, http://haworthiaupdates.org/category/emelyae/