Gasteria and Haworthia are two South African genera of the Asphodelaceae family. They are in general small to medium, slow-growing, shade-loving succulents. These characteristics make them very suitable plants for indoor culture.
Haworthia is a genus consisting of small, shade-loving, slow-growing succulents. The genus is comprised of roughly 70 species indigenous to South Africa. The name commemorates the British botanist Adrian H. Haworth.
The plants may vary in size but rarely exceed 12-20 cm (8 inches). The allure of these plants is the amazing variety of form, shape and texture of the foliage. Color can vary from green, red, or brown to nearly black. The flowers are of minimal interest.
Gasteria is botanically related to Haworthia and is distinguished from Haworthia by the shape of the flowers. Gasteria produces a long scape (leafless flower stalk) bearing flowers that are swollen at one end. Since the appearance of the flowers mimics the shape of a stomach, the genus got it’s name Gasteria from the Greek word ‘gaster’ meaning belly or stomach. The flowers of some varieties can be quite spectacular. The genus contains roughly 20 species.
Gasteria can vary in size from a few centimeters to roughly a meter in diameter. Nearly all Gasteria plants are distichous (leaves arranged in two rows) when the plants are small. As the plants begin to mature they will either maintain the distichous nature in a spiral form, or they may form a rosette. The plants have definite juvenile and adult forms.
Caring for Gasteria and Haworthia
Both Gasteria and Haworthia benefit from some shade and are ideally suited for an indoor environment. They prefer well-drained soil and relatively even moisture. They are Winter and Spring growers, however, they will still grow somewhat during other seasons. The plants benefit from low-level applications of fertilizer.
Both Gasteria and Haworthia will cross pollinate each other as well as Aloe, resulting in a number of intergeneric hybrids.
There is a great deal of confusion in the world of Gasteria and Haworthia regarding correct nomenclature. We endeavor to keep current with the most commonly accepted names, although many are either in contention, or unresolved. The naming of plants which have so much variation is extremely challenging work and we have the ultimate respect for the botanists who try to sort it all out. There is an asterisk next to any name which is either questionable, unresolved, or uncertain.
All plants are grown in either a 3.5 inch (9 cm) pot (regular size) or a 2 inch (5 cm) pot (mini). The regular size is larger and includes some offsets. The mini size may or may not include offsets. All plants are shipped bare-root with an identifying label.