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Locality: Steytlerville Springbokvlakte. Dwarf slow growing species. Very nice.
Origin and Habitat: South Africa, Eastern Cape province, Little karoo, South-east of Steytlerville (known localities: SE. Steytlerville, Langveld, E. Springbokvlakte, SE. Springbokvlakte, Kleinpoort)
Habitat: H. bruynsii grows sunken in the ground usually well hidden under the bushes, with it's light-transmitting leaves usually coated with a fine covering of dust.
- Haworthia bruynsii M.B.Bayer
Haworthia bruynsii M.B.Bayer
J. S. African Bot. 47(4): 789 (1981).
- Haworthia bruynsii M.B.Bayer
- Haworthia bruynsii f. variegata hort.
Description: Plants are almost always solitary, slow growing, tiny, and in the wild they are mostly sunken into the ground. It has a somewhat flat growth habit and can vary in color from grayish blue-green to green.
Rosette: Stemless 4-6 cm in diameter, with only 5-10 leaves when fully grown .
Leaves: Brown, with a flat retuse leaf-end, translucent, bluntly triangled. Opaque and slightly scabrid with small raised tubercles.
Flowers: Slender, tube obcapitate, with tepales fused, tip revolute. Born on a simple, slender, sparsely flowered inflorescence.
Remarks: This charming species looks like a miniature form of Haworthia retusa but it belongs to subgenus Hexangulares (because of the flower - peduncle is long and wiry and the florets are six-sided at the base) and seems strictly related with Haworthia sordida.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Haworthia bruynsii group
Notes: Haworthia bruynsii is a choice example of the window-leaf ( fenestrate leaf) adaptation found in many other succulent species like Peperomia columnella, Fenestraria rhopalophylla, Lithops karasmontana, Ophthalmophyllum friedrichiae, etc. These windowed plants usually grows buried in the ground with only the upper truncated portion of the thick, succulent leaves visible. Both the coalescent leaf pair of Lithops (shaped like an inverted cone) and the leaves of the other windowed plants have a more or less upright position with the leaf tips at the soil surface or protruding only a little from the soil. The leaf tips either are rounded or flattened. This windows leaf tip is free of green pigments. The greater part of the photosynthetic leaf surface, the mantle, is not exposed directly to sun light since the leaf is embedded into the soil and the solar radiation is transmitted by the colourless water storage tissue to the assimilatory tissue, so the photosynthetically active mantle gets light only from inside the leaf and not across the epidermis. Moreover this light is more or less evenly dispersed over the whole assimilatory tissue since the water storage tissue disperses the solar radiation. All species of Lithops and Ophthalmophyllum have coloured windows that matches with the colours of the soil and the pebbles of the plant's habitat. While other window plants such as Haworthia maughanii have dark green pigmented window areas. This green colour, however, does not result from a pigmentation of the window area but is the result of light that penetrates the window and is transmitted across the water storage tissue.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Linda R. Berg “Introductory Botany: Plants, People, and the Environment” Cengage Learning, 02/Mar/2007
2) Dieter J. Von Willert “Life strategies of succulents in deserts: with special reference to the Namib desert” CUP Archive, 1992
Haworthia bruynsii Photo by: Cactus Art
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Cultivation and Propagation: In cultivation it belongs to more difficult and slow-growing species. (very prone to rot) Needs regular water in summer keep dry in winter.
Propagation: This species does not offset often so (usually) must be done by seeds, or eventually by offsets if available.
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