Haworthia Revisited – 12. Haworthia floribunda

12. Haworthia floribunda V.Poelln., Feddes Repert.Spec.Nov. 40:149(1936).  idem. 44:228(1938).  Bayer :117(1976).  Bayer :39(1982).  Scott :58(1985).  Type: Cape, Heidelberg, Mrs E. Ferguson.  Not preserved.  Lectotype: icon (B).  Epitype (B&M): Blackdown, N Heidelberg, Bayer 158 (NBG).

floribunda: many flowered.

Rosette stemless, up to 3cm φ, slowly proliferous.  Leaves 20-30 dark green opaque, upto ovate-lanceolate, spreading, twisted with flattened, rounded tip, margins scabrid to dentate.  Inflorescence simple, to 250mm.  Flowers 10-15, greenish-white, few open together.

1982 – This is a very interesting small species with twisted lanceolate leaves with blunt rounded tips.  It was described from plants collected north of Heidelberg (Cape) where they are all glabrous and where hybridisation with H. turgida also occurs.  It has not been collected further west although there is a very old collection in the Botanical Research Institute (PRE) from Swellendam.  Around Riversdale the plants may have scabrous leaves with denticulate leaf margins.  There is a known population north of Albertinia in which the plants have more and shorter leaves, as well as another similar population near Gouritzmond.  These two populations may suggest an affinity with H. chloracantha, as put forward by A.E. Speechley (unpublished).  There may be such a relationship, but it seems likely that H. floribunda and H. parksiana are in fact related.  They both tend to grow well‑shaded and in moss and lichen.  Further exploration of the Gouritz River tributaries may produce an answer to this puzzle.

1999 – The Gouritz valley has provided no answers to the above puzzle but there have been a number of other significant collections.  There is a population south of Swellendam of which specimens in cultivation have been very robust.  They are relatively light green in cultivation and also individual plants are smooth as was the original type.  Odd specimens have pointed leaves.  Northwest of Swellendam is a similar but darker green plant also with pointed leaves and this is taken to be H. variegata.  Further south from Swellendam, H. floribunda assumes the same form as around Riversdale.  At Great Brak there is a population of plants growing with H. pygmaea which were assumed to be H. floribunda, but they are probably simply H. chloracantha var. denticulifera.  This is true also of the populations south of Albertinia and also of one population south of Heidelberg which has pointed leaves.  The flattened leaf-tip is not confined to this species, and appears in H. magnifica and H. maraisii.  A relationship with H. variegata is probable through the two populations in the vicinity of Swellendam.

M-12-floribunda

a. var. floribunda.
The typical variety is not typical of the species at all and this glabrous variety is only known from the type locality at Heidelberg where it is very scarce.  Hybrids with H. turgida are also present.

Distribution: 3420(Bredasdorp): 6km N. Heidelberg (-BB), Smith 5545 (NBG,PRE), Bayer 158 (NBG); Heidelberg commonage (-BB), Ferguson in BOL20507.

Haworthia floribunda var. floribunda JDV88/22 north of Heidleberg. One of the few places where the plants have no spination.

Haworthia floribunda var. floribunda JDV88/22 north of Heidelberg. One of the few places where the plants have no spination.

Haworthia floribunda var. floribunda JDV89/22 north of Heidelberg.

Haworthia floribunda var. floribunda JDV89/22 north of Heidelberg.

 

b. var. dentata  var. nov.  Type: CAPE-3421(Riversdale): W. Riversdale, Dekenah 90 in Smith 5502 (NBG, Holo.).

dentata: toothed.

Differs in being smaller, to 4cmφ, the leaves very dark green, slightly scabrid and with spined margins.  (A var. floribunda foliis subtiliter scabridis et denti-marginatis differt).

This variety describes the smaller form which has distinct and widely spaced marginal spines.  The leaves are very dark green and also slightly scabrid.  It occurs from the Bontebok Park at Swellendam to northwest of Riversdale, and includes larger forms east of Riversdale also with pronounced marginal spines.

Distribution: 3420(Bredasdorp): Bontebok Park (-BA), Bayer 3439 (NBG); E. Buffeljachts (-BA), Viviers 156 (NBG).  3421(Riversdale): W. Riversdale (-AA), Dekenah 90 in Smith 5502 (NBG): 5km N. Riversdale (-AB), Smith 5381 (NBG,PRE); 15km E. Riversdale (-AB), Smith 5758 (NBG); Dassieklip (-AC), Venter 92/31 (NBG); Wydersrivier (-BA), Smith 5491, 6781 (NBG), Bayer 2311.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV94/47 north-east of Riversdale. Very difficult to find when dry.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV94/47 north-east of Riversdale. Very difficult to find when dry.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV94/47 north-east of Riversdale. Showing the more scabrid leaves of this variety.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV94/47 north-east of Riversdale. Showing the more scabrid leaves of this variety.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV93/56 east of Riversdale. Also with the characteristic rounded leaf-tips.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV93/56 east of Riversdale. Also with the characteristic rounded leaf-tips.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV94/47 north-east of Riversdale. Usually well-hidden and small.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV94/47 north-east of Riversdale. Usually well-hidden and small.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV93/58 east of Riversdale. A large robust darkest clone in cultivation.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV93/58 east of Riversdale. A large robust darkest clone in cultivation.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV93/58 east of Riversdale. In among stones and lichens.

Haworthia floribunda var. dentata JDV93/58 east of Riversdale. In among stones and lichens.

 

c. var. viridescens var.nov.  Type: CAPE-3420(Swellendam): S. Swellendam (-AB), De Kok (NBG, Holo.).

viridescens: becoming green.

Very green plants with darker coloration at the basal leaf margins.  Relatively glabrous and more robust in cultivation.  (A var. floribunda habitu robusto et colore viridi vivido ad margines basales foliorum atranti differt).

This is a large robust plant in cultivation and includes two forms, one of which has pointed leaves.  The coloration is greener than normal for even cultivated plants of the species.

Distribution: 3420(Bredasdorp): Below Swellendam Stn. (-AB)., C.A. Smith 2724a (PRE); S. Swellendam (-AB), D.De Kok (NBG).

Haworthia floribunda var. major JDV93/3 south of Swellendam. Plants in the field are quit small.

Haworthia floribunda var. major JDV93/3 south of Swellendam. Plants in the field are quit small.

Haworthia floribunda var. major JDV91/3 south of Swellendam. Leaves often without spines and tips sometimes pointed.

Haworthia floribunda var. major JDV91/3 south of Swellendam. Leaves often without spines and tips sometimes pointed.

 

 

 

 

Volume 2, Chapter 1:- The curious variability of Haworthia floribunda

M.B.Bayer, 16 Hope Str., 8001 Cape Town.
R.W.Kent, 16206 Rostrata Rd., Poway, CA92604.

Introduction:-

“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.

Continue reading

Volume 2, Chapter 2:- A population of Haworthia magnifica/maraisii

Introduction:-

After writing Haworthia Revisited in 1996, I became aware of just how inadequate readers seem to be to the task of assimilating all the available literature on Haworthia, in the botanical and intellectual climate in which we live.  It seems as though the more information we have the more confused we become.  In order to generate the material needed to disprove or fortify my classification hypothesis, I have spent a further considerable amount of time in the field and in cultivating plants from seed.  Unfortunately the editorial support and speed of publication has not kept pace with my own effort and much of my writing and my evidence is still in manuscript form.  This short essay was therefore to put forward only a little more evidence to show just how complex plant species are – not necessarily only in Haworthia.

Continue reading

Volume 2, Chapter 12:- Haworthia rossouwii VPoelln. and the demise of H. serrata Bayer

This appeared as an article in ALOE 38:31 (2001).  Unfortunately there was a problem with illustrations and captions and these are corrected here.  A comment is also added as an addendum to respond to criticism by I.Breuer published in Alsterworthia 2:13(2002).

Introduction:

I described Haworthia serrata in 1973 (Jl S.AFr.Bot.39:249, see Figs.1) from Oudekraal, southwest of Heidelberg.  I commented then on the wisdom of describing a new species when “the recognition, estimation of taxonomic rank and circumscription of elements in Haworthia…” was so problematic.  The new species was said to resemble H. emelyae var. multifolia (Figs.2).  In respect of its distribution, I said it was closest to H. heidelbergensis at Heidelberg (Figs.3 JDV87/1) and as at Matjestoon (Fig.4 JDV87/3), and also to H. sublimpidula at Swellendam (now known to be H. floribunda var. major (Fig.5 MBB6859, taxonomically with little connection to H. rossouwii).  The implication was that it could have been taxonomically related to those elements in terms of geographic distribution.  I was still puzzled by the relationships of H. serrata when I wrote (New Haworthia Handbook :55, 1982) that collections by C.Burgers from the Coastal Limestones might throw more light on the matter (Fig.6 MBB6985 H. mirabilis var. calcarea).

Continue reading

Volume 3, Chapter 13:- Haworthia IS confusing.

In a very interesting book by Stephen Gould entitled “Rock of Ages”, in which he propounds his principle of NOMA – non-overlapping magisteria.  This states that science and religion should not be confused nor mixed.

So this is not a confession of confusion – you do not confess to what is obvious.  It is an admission, and an admission can be construed as an apology.  But, as a rhetorical question, how can one apologize and expect forgiveness when one continues to walk the errant path?

I started to write about Haworthia to dispel confusion, and yet more than 40 years on, this confusion has not become any less.  The conclusion I have come to (and I wish it was a closure) is that the prime source of confusion is simply the human condition.  In mystic philosophy one can read… “Born in ignorance, we live in ignorance and we die in ignorance”.

I think that my interest in Haworthia stems from my conscious effort to dispel this primal confusion and find some of the order in my view of creation.  The classification of plants suggested just one small piece of my world which was available to me, and Haworthia as one group which no one else could explain to me.  What have I now learned and what contribution does this make to dispel confusion?

My courage to now say something more directly arises from a recent request by SANBI to write a synopsis of Haworthia for an E. Cape Flora.  I feel that I have done that fairly successfully.  The problem is now to produce a similar product for the SW Cape and this is considerably more difficult.

Continue reading

Volume 5, Chapter 6:- Haworthia floribunda

Again this piece is written against the background of a detailed discussion in Haworthia UpdateVol. 2.   Again I am not able to say the situation is full comprehensible and neither do I want to encourage the daffy view that nature is just too much for us all.  It is really curious that this species is woven into the fabric of H. mirabilis and also into that of H. chloracantha, H. parksiana and H. variegata.  New finds have not clarified the picture so much as added another dimension to an extraordinary display.  Not that H. floribunda is a spectacular species.  In the field it can be extraordinarily cryptic and obscure while in cultivation it is an unlikely favourite.  I do not want to repeat what I have already written while I hope that this will not contradict that either.  H. floribunda seems to occupy a clear niche along the base of the mountains between Albertinia in the east and Swellendam in the west.  It occurs as discrete from any other species although hybrids with both H. retusa and H. mirabilis do occur.  South and west of Heidelberg it seems to lose its identity within H. mirabilis and then emerges briefly in a limited area near the Potberg in the southwest in a ‘mirabilis’ context as well as in H. variegata context.  At Klipfontein farm at the western end of the Potberg it seems to be recognizable in relatively the same form as the very original description.  But let us look at new information.

Continue reading

Volume 5, Chapter 9:- More on H. floribunda and H. mirabilis

In a recent set of articles (published by the Haworthia Society as??) I wrote the following in connection with H. floribunda… “MBB7738 H. floribunda ‘major’. Swellendam:  These plants were in fact small when first collected and in cultivation grew so large that I coined the name ‘major’ for them.  They do still exist in a very small and disturbed area close to gum trees but curiously in moss free of leaf litter.  I did also find them a little further away in a more grassy area where they are/were more typically small and dark coloured.  I should note that I also recorded this ’dentata’-like version within the Bontebok Park close to where H. mirabilis occurs and I am still committed to again finding that population  in the light of this new material”.

In connection with H. mirabilis, I wrote…”The Dankbaar plants are small versions of this and of course tie up with both older and newer (MBB7704) records for the Bontebok National Park.   2. MBB7743 H. mirabilis. Bontebok Park: Having written that, we did in fact locate still another population and of course it looked different as the area where it occurs had been recently burned and being on a northwest aspect the plants were very exposed and even more cryptic than usual”.

Continue reading

Volume 7, Chapter 1:- Haworthia retusa ‘nigra’ – Another grand finale.

Introduction
I wonder.  I have written so many words purporting to be my last that my credibility here too must be under stress.  Two very recent articles of mine in Alsterworthia deal essentially with that issue, although they also cover the discovery of Haworthia mutica (Buffeljags) (= H. groenewaldii Breuer).  They do not cover my subsequent thoughts on actually reading the description of this new “species” by Breuer, Marx and Groenewald.  I hope that the present manuscript will explain why I reject this as a Latin binomial although anyone who is in the least familiar with my writing should already know.  Spurred on by that discovery, I instigated a search in another area of the Buffeljags valley adjoining the Bontebok Park accompanied by Jannie Groenewald who informed me of what he had found in still another area I had long wanted to explore.  So I instigated another search there too and again with Jannie.  A discussion of these new finds is submitted to Cactus and Succulent Journal where I trust it will be published.  The essence is already in Alsterworthia and this article is written to widen the readership, submit more pictures and maintain continuity with the 6 volumes of Haworthia Update that Harry Mays has been so conscientiously and determinedly publishing.  This is all writing that may not otherwise have seen the light of day.  I am personally extremely grateful for that as I have had a mania since writing my revision Haworthia Revisited and Update Vol. 1 (both Umdaus), to set the record straight and explore all the unknowns, or at least some of them.

Continue reading

Volume 7, Chapter 6:- Field trip to Van Reenens Crest and Niekerkshek.

M B Bayer, PO Box 960, Kuilsriver 7579, RSA.

The objective was to explore some likely habitats previously observed at Van Reenens Crest and nearby.   We extended the scope to include further exploration for Haworthia mutica as I am still questioning the place of this species in the greater scheme of things.  Thus here are four sets of populations that I report on viz. H. mirabilis, H. retusa ‘nigra’, H. floribunda and H. mutica.  See maps Figs 1 and 2 for geographical position.

Continue reading

Volume 7, Chapter 7:- More on Haworthia mirabilis and H. mutica from east of Bredasdorp.

More on Haworthia mirabilis and H. mutica from east of Bredasdorp.

M B Bayer, PO Box 960, Kuilsriver 7579, RSA

The area concerned is the long and wide contact zone between the Limestone stretching from Bredasdorp to Potberg, and the Bokkeveld shale north of that.  The soils and vegetation of the two areas are grossly different.  The limestones are agriculturally almost useless, while the shales are prime wheat and pasturage producing soils although relatively low yielding.  The vegetation of the shales is Renosterveld and there are very few patches left.  Large areas resemble ecological deserts with nothing of the original surface intact.  Here and there are shale banks and associated quartz outcrops and also some remnants of tertiary deposits that overlie the shale.  Under this deposit layer the shale has decomposed to kaolin and in places there are gravel sheets of fine quartz on white clay.  The skeletal nature of these remnants is the saving grace but it is unbelievable to what lengths farmers must have gone to make fields arable.  Enormous amounts of stone that have been carted away and dumped to make cultivated lands.  Sadly the stone is often dumped on exposed rock and prime Haworthia habitat.  The remnants are still under threat and a mindset that has developed in the road construction and maintenance arena is that roads must be clean and scraped fence to fence.  Similarly there are farmers who want every square inch under control and in subservience to their production needs.  Dense vegetation is abhorred and burnt to control predation of sheep by jackal and lynx.  Vegetation adjoining crops is treated with weedkiller to minimize crop contamination.  Crops are also grown in conjunction with animal production.  When crops are in, the animals are on fallow land and on whatever is left of natural vegetation.   It is the harsh reality of conservation.

Continue reading

Still another view of Haworthia retusa and Haworthia mirabilis

I recently wrote an essay on the situation between Haworthia retusa and Haworthia mirabilis at Komserante east of Riversdale.  The essay was entitled “My view of names” and is posted on the HaworthiaUpdates.org web site.  Etwin Aslander posted some pictures from what he called Kruisrivier.  These caught my eye because they did not look like the plants I know from a place of the same name.  My known population is JDV95/62 and generally these plants have the dark colour and rough surface texture of H. mirabilis.  The issue is that they are spring flowering whereas H. mirabilis is generally considered and observed to be late summer flowering.  Etwin indicated to me where he had found his plants and I duly went to look.

In the process I incidentally called on a well known H. retusa population at the Skietbaan locality south of Riversdale.  There has been a dramatic turnabout in the appearances of these plants since I last looked there 2 years ago.  Whereas there were then huge clones well above ground level, the plants were now again smaller and drawn into the ground.  I experienced this dramatic shift in plant appearances just west of the Frehse Reserve many years ago when there were giant size plants as opposed to my first visit when the plants were really small and withdrawn.

Kobus accompanied Daphne and I to Kruisrivier where the owners Wilhelm and Mandi Zietsman were extremely helpful.  They told us also of a neighbor, Gert van Rensburg, who had also seen the same plants on his farm to the west.  Mandi accompanied us on a jaunt to find that farmer and failing that we explored north of the original Kruisrivier locality.  There we found another population of plants as well as H. floribunda (see Set 1 MBB7998).  These two species H. retusa and H. floribunda were occupying different habitat and spaced about 100m apart.  The H. floribunda was numerous and rather smooth leaved as well as paler green in colour than I expect from that species.  The H. retusa-like plants were much smoother in surface texture than the original known population and they were in bud (see Set 2 MBB7999).  We went back to the older population just to confirm that they were in bud too as we expected.  Just so and the buds were just emerging from the rosettes.  The plants were generally smaller than they were at a previous visit (see set 3 JDV95/62).

We parted company with Mandi Zietsman, and went off westwards intended to explore the Klein Kruisrivier area that seemed to better fit Etwin’s site indicator.  By good fortune we ran into Gert van Rensburg of Wegwysersrivier.  He eyed us very suspiciously indeed and obviously very reluctant to show anyone the plants.  However, he very kindly relented, took us to the spot and left us to freely photograph and explore (see set 4 MBB8000).  The plants can be described as midway between the generally rougher surfaces of JDV95-62 and the smooth surfaces of MBB7999.  What was more dramatic is that there were six flower spikes so that flowering is possible as early as July 6th.

We returned via another route regretting leaving distant habitat unexplored.  But we did find another population of H. floribunda, a little more toothed and perhaps brighter green than at Kruisrivier.

I also note that I long ago confirmed Smith’s record for H. retusa ‘turgida’ at Klein Kruisrivier in the upper Wegwysersrivier Gorge.  This is the small spinose proliferous version known elsewhere from the Langeberg Mts.

Digesting this new information is a bit difficult in view of the very opposed views of what names mean and how they should be applied.  Taking all the populations that I have explored and written about, my perspective is further to a view expressed in Haworthia Update 7.  This is that H. retusa and H. mirabilis are uncomfortably close.  The only thing that appears to separate them is the yellowish green and smooth tendency in H. retusa and the darkish green and surface rough tendency in H. mirabilis.  Further to that is of course the question of spring flowering versus late summer flowering.  But I have already reported several case of hybridization across this divide as well as the Komserante situation.  Here we now have plants in three populations that occupy middle ground and one of these populations has a significant degree of a winter flowering capacity.   The identification should perhaps utilize the chemical equilibrium symbol  This is not quite it “↔” as the better symbol comprises halved arrows pointing in opposite directions.

I wish to add that in the case of plants I attribute to H. ‘turgida’ at Towerlands, I commented on the very real possibility of a close connection to H. emelyae.  There is also evidence for this elsewhere.  I use the name ‘turgida’ like this because of the uncertainty of it really being H. retusa var. turgida or perhaps H.  pygmaea.

My experience in other situations viz. H. limifolia, H. herbacea/H. reticulata, H. arachnoidea/H. mucronata, H. cymbiformis/H. cooperi, Kiewietsvlakte etc. all suggests to me that the view of species is grossly distorted in the splitter direction.  It is clear to me, if to no one else, that H. retusa and H. mirabilis form a very cohesive entity with ramifying oddities the length and breadth of the distribution range.  I do not cover this issue here, but there is the added complication of the involvement of H. floribunda.  It seems to be very discrete in most places, whereas at others it seems to get lost mainly (only?) in H. mirabilis.  This may be because the introgression is favoured by the same flowering season.  H. retusa and H. mirabilis are drifted apart by the difference in flowering season but it is by no means anything more than a general observation.

I have added the images of the available flowers as well as that of a bud to show the flared fishtail bud-tip that the southern Cape species tend to have.  The flowers are variable and it is difficult to make a statement that characterizes them i.e. no composite image forms.

Continue reading

A sequel…Still another view of Haworthia retusa and Haworthia mirabilis.

It has long been my contention that there is no separation between Haworthia retusa and Haworthia turgida. It is one very variable system viz H. retusa, with a larger fairly non-proliferous plants tending to level areas and then smaller proliferous plants on steeper habitats. There is huge variability among members of any one population and of course much more between populations. Over and above this is the relationship of this apparently one single system, with H. mirabilis that is probably even more complex and varied. If one takes all the known populations and variants into consideration it become necessary to ask if H. retusa and H. mirabilis are also not just elements of one system , and one species. If all the considerations are summed and referral is made to vegetation and speciation drivers; what constitutes an area of endemism, then I am sure the answer will be “Yes”! What seems to have happened is a natural sequence. As sampling has progressed so has there been recognition of differences. The logical outcome is that sampling progression should lead to understanding and synthesis by reduction. Unfortunately there will be diehards that stay with the differences syndrome and cannot see the similarities.

Continue reading

Bontebok Park Haworthia floribunda and SW Klipport Haworthia mirabilis

I was at Bontebok Park south of Swellendam this week specifically to get another look at Haworthia floribunda there and why it is so different. On the way I did some exploring at Stormsvlei about 25km west of Swellendam where I know H. mutica Klipport in a shale environment, and a very odd H. mirabilis growing on a small patch of manganic conglomerate. But going south onto the northern slopes of the Bromberg we found three populations of H. mirabilis in sandstone that are again “different” in the sense that “H. groenewaldii” could be different from H. mutica. This is just a local geological phenomenon and fully sequential with H. mirabilis to all compass directions. If you extrapolate this to Swellendam you have to conclude that the Swellendam mix of H. floribunda, H. marginata, H. minima, H. floribunda, H. mutica and H. retusa is the way it is because of the unusual geology of the area. The Bontebok Park is a relatively massive area of tertiary gravel of mostly river origin and derived from Table Mountain Sandstone. Tertiary gravels east and south are derived from silcrete and ferricrete. I do not know the detail of the mineralogy but it most definitely forms the basis of the soils, vegetation and habitat across the Southern Cape. I specifically looked at H. marginata in the park and see that it was in seed i.e. September flowering with massive capsules and seed. Now if Marx can persuade someone that this is a different species, I accept that I am a monkey’s uncle and that the differences in H. marginata elsewhere e.g. Drew, Bredasdorp and Heidelberg or Riversdale, mean there are several similar species. OH, I forget – that means H. floribunda would also be several species, and so is H. minima. But then H. mutica is of course several species and H. retusa several dozen. H. mirabilis several hundred.

Continue reading

The Haworthia species of the Bontebok National Park

M. B. Bayer (MSc), Kleinbegin Farm, Kuilsriver, South Africa
Mrs Carly Cowell (MSc), Regional Ecologist, Cape Research Centre, Conservation Services, South African National Parks, Cape Town, South Africa.

Objective:  The significance of the Park occurrences.
The occurrence of members of three aloid “genera” (the three sub-genera of the genus Haworthia could indeed be genera) and the absence of any other member of the Aloids (bar the ubiquitous Aloe ferox) must surely be indicative of the driving forces that determine the flora of the Park.  This also must surely help establish the significance of the park as a conservancy of considerable merit.  The complex interaction of the species enhances even that.  The purpose of this report is to examine more closely the variation and nature of a small segment of the Park flora, and demonstrate how much more can be done.     

Note: This report has several constraints.  Firstly is the situation in which there is no formal general definition and hence understanding of what a plant species is.  Secondly there is the generally understood view that there is an evolutionary process at work by which organisms evolve from a common distant origin by genetic mutation and adaptation.  Thirdly there are serious flaws in the classification of the Aloid genera.  Several essays dealing with these issues by DNA sequencing are weak because they rest on those flaws and consequently do not address some serious questions of relationships that the results pose.  Fourthly of course is the reality that the knowledge or intellectual capacity to overcome these deficiencies may be absent.  Thus the report is written in the context of all the publications as the original genus revision (Haworthia Revisited, Bayer; Umdaus, 1999) and others available on the internet (HaworthiaUpdates.org).

Continue reading