Variability – sounds so hackneyed now but still it does not seem as if anybody “gets it”. These are plants from two populations of chloracantha east of Herbertsdale. Two very different soils. One is shale and I show only a single plant from there – the left one of the three unearthed plants. There the plants were “ordinary” chloracantha. But the other locality was exposed “pressure burst” kaolinite such as you get around Riversdale and westwards. Some of the plants reminded me of floribunda and even parksiana. I know of only 6 populations around Herbertsdale and there the plants are different too.
In Chapter 1 of Haworthia Update Vol. 2, I discussed H. chloracantha and H. parksiana in the context of H. floribunda. Fig. 8 in that publication is labelled “North of Herbertsdale” when in fact it is MBB7425 from the Wolwedans Dam north of Great Brak (see fig.1). This was deliberate and not seriously misleading as the plants from the two respective populations are virtually identical. The correct images for that “north of Herbertsdale” are in Haworthia Revisited and labelled JDV87/80 and 97/138.
M.B.Bayer, 16 Hope Str., 8001 Cape Town.
R.W.Kent, 16206 Rostrata Rd., Poway, CA92604.
“Haworthia Revisited” was drafted in 1996, and since then the first author has undertaken a number of field excursions in an attempt to clarify uncertainties. The putative nature of species of Haworthia as recognised by Bayer (listed in Haworthia Revisited, Umdaus 1999) and the importance he attached to geographic distribution are stressed in all his publications. This is because these so-called species seem to vary continuously with one another in that context of geography. Classification seeks to portray relationships and origins. Hence when a species has been recognised, a cognitive attempt has been made to speculate on phylogenetics, where distribution must be significant. In the case of Haworthia floribunda this proves rather difficult, and this article is a discussion of the relationship of this species to its possible relatives. The point we do make is that the Linnaean binomial system, as well as cladistic methods, seem neither to deal with nor portray the problem of reticulate relationships. In other words, the nomenclatural system and the way we classify plants and analyse their relationships assumes linear dichotomy in those relationships.
7. Haworthia chloracantha Haw., Revis. :57(1821). Bayer :106(1976). Bayer :32(1982). Scott :52(1985). Aloe chlorocantha Roem. et Schultes, Syst.Veg. 7:641(1929). Salm-Dyck, Monogr. 13:f1(1836). Type: Not preserved. Neotype: icon, 13:f1 Salm-Dyck, Monogr. Epitype (ex B&M, designated here): N. of Herbertsdale, Bayer in KG411/75 (NBG).
Rosette from 25-40mm φ, proliferous. Leaves: erect spreading, firm to slightly scabrid, triangular in cross-section, spines on margins and keel. Inflorescence simple raceme, lax. Flowers small.
1982 – H. chloracantha is a fairly localised species occurring in the Herbertsdale, Mossel Bay and Great Brak area. It occurs as three main varieties. Firstly the variety chloracantha from north and west of Herbertsdale which is a relatively robust light green form. The var. denticulifera is a smaller, usually purplish-green form found in and around Mossel Bay, while var. subglauca is a more robust waxygreen form from the granitic soils at Great Brak. Von Poellnitz, particularly, confused this species with H. angustifolia but it is slightly more scabrid and the marginal teeth are larger and wider apart. Although more robust, the var. subglauca may reach up to 60-70 mm tall with leaves up to 10 mm broad at their widest. The var. denticulifera may be as small as 30 mm tall with leaves less than 3 mm broad at their widest. The relationship between H. chloracantha and H. floribunda to the west is obscure. The Gouritz River valley effectively divides the two species but there are dubious populations north and south-east of Albertina which may suggest a relationship between these two species (see H. floribunda). However, it is unlikely that either H. floribunda, H. divergens or H. variegata will be confused with H. chloracantha.
1999 – This species was related to H. angustifolia even prior to the recognition of H. monticola ( H. divergens Bayer, 1982). H. chloracantha is more probably more directly related to H. floribunda and H. variegata, but it is also possible that the relationship of the varieties given here is incorrect and that the typical variety has weaker links with the southern Cape than the other two varieties. The new H. monticola var. asema from Calitzdorp, as well as the discovery of H. outeniquensis, also need to be taken into consideration.
It appears that the dark-green erect plants from southeast and east of Albertinia (Cooper Siding) should be regarded as H. chloracantha and not as H. floribunda. The population at Draaihoek to the north, includes plants which resemble H. parksiana and it may best be related to H. floribunda. Plants with erect leaves growing with H. parksiana at Groot Brak have been regarded as H. floribunda and it is more probable that they are in fact also H. chloracantha. It seems improbable that three similar species, in which the affinities with one another are in question, can co-occur.
a. var.chloracantha .
The typical variety is taken to be the very proliferous green forms around Herbertsdale and along the Gouritz River as it passes through the Langeberg mountains. While Breuer and Metzing do not use the Salm Dyck illustration to typify this name, that illustration and the icon in Bergers revision in Fas Pflanzenreich, are really the main sources for the application of the name.
3321(Ladismith): Gouritz Gorge (-DC), Burgers 2317 (NBG) N. Herbertsdale (-DD), Bayer 411/75 (NBG). 3421(Riversdale): Herbertsdale (-BB), Smith 5053, 5156 (NBG).
b. var. denticulifera (V.Poelln.) Bayer :112(1976). Bayer :32(1982). H. angustifolia var. denticulifera V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 41:194(1937), ibid. 44:228(1938). Type: Cape, Montagu, Mrs Helm. Not preserved. Lectotype (B&M): icon (B).: H. angustifolia var. lilliputana Uitew. Sukkulenta 43(1953). Type: Not preserved. Neotype (designated here): CAPE-3422(Mossel Bay): Hill above Mossel Bay (-AA), Courtenay-Latimer in Smith 5223 (NBG).
denticulifera: bearing small teeth.
This variety is dark-green and occurs around Little Brak and Mossel Bay. It also occurs along the lower Gouritz Valley where it has been previously assigned to H. floribunda. Von Poelnitz (1938) cited a number of improbable localities for this element as a variety of H. angustifolia. These included Montagu, Calitzdorp, Riversdale and Great Brak. It is generally concluded that the plants originated from the greater Great Brak area. Uitewaal’s smaller plants – var. lilliputana – are comparable with the population which occurs within the town of Mossel Bay itself. The specimen cited from the Duiwenhoeks causeway is also one with erect pointed leaves which draws the relation with H. floribunda into the discussion.
3420(Bredasdorp): Duiwenhoks Causeway (-BD), Muller-Doblies 82/098 (NBG). 3421(Riversdale): Cooper Siding (-BB), Bayer 3586 (NBG); 3km N Gouritzmond (-BD), Smith 7519 (NBG), Bayer 3586 (NBG). 3422(Mossel Bay): 2km N. Mossel Bay (-AA), Smith 2896 (NBG); 1km N. Mossel Bay (-AA), Smith 3958 (NBG); Mossel Bay (-AA), Smith 5223, 5750 (NBG); Little Brak (-AA), Smith 5751 (NBG); Great Brak (-AA), Bouwer (NBG).
Inadequately located: ex hort. Armstrong in Smith 2830 (NBG).
c. var. subglauca V.Poelln., Kakteenkunde 9:135(1937). Bayer :106(1976). Bayer:32(1982). Type: Cape, Great Brak, Mrs Helm. Not preserved. Neotype (B&M): Great Brak, Hurling & Neil (BOL).
subglauca: nearly glaucous.
As stated above, this variety differs in coloration from the other two varieties and in the larger sparser spines. There is a specimen cited rather vaguely as from near Zebra which could perhaps be H. outeniquensis.
3422(Mossel Bay): Great Brak (-AA), Fourcade 18 (NBG), Hurling & Neil (BOL), Ferguson 1 (BOL), Smith 2889 (NBG); E. Great Brak (-AA), Smith 2885, 3957 (NBG); Bayer in KG(98/71 (NBG); George (-AA), Malherbe in NBG304/40 (NBG), Fourcade in NBG2617/34 (NBG).
Inadequately located: ex hort, Pillans (BOL). Heyn’s farm near Zebra, van der Bijl 474 (BOL).