Appendix 10 to Vol. 8 Haworthia Update – An additional report on Haworthia mirabilis and Haworthia rossouwii ‘minor’, Rooivlei and Brakkloof, N and, NNE Bredasdorp.
The previous report indicated the necessity for further exploration of Rooivlei. I had observed H. mirabilis, but not reported it in Update 3, at Brakkloof to the west in 2004. So the object of this appendix is to remedy this oversight and to also cover more area of Rooivlei. At Brakkloof there are several small remnants of rocky shale and we located several populations, while at Rooivlei we actually explored the very western boundary. This constitutes the same topographical area as the Rooivlei populations but the plants we observed were factually on Brakkloof.
The populations reported on here are:-
- 6537 H. mirabilis, Groudini, W Napier
- 7285 H. mirabilis, Brakkloof 3
- 8046 H. mirabilis, Brakkloof 2
- 8047 H. mirabilis, Brakkloof 1
- 8048 H. mirabilis, W Rooivlei 1
- 8049 H. mirabilis, W Rooivlei 2
- 8050 H. mirabilis, W Rooivlei 3
- 8051 H. mirabilis, E Rooivlei
- 8045+ H. rossouwii ‘minor’, NW type locality
- 8052 H. mirabilis, S.Welgegund
- 8053 H. mirabilis, Welgegund SE 8052
This chapter is based on recent field exploration and embroiders around many aspects of Haworthia species discussed in earlier chapters. What should be striking is that new populations follow the very predictable geographic pattern that all my earlier exploration has exposed and in my estimation confirm in every way what I consider a sound and satisfactory taxonomic solution and help explain its limitations.
What always comes to mind as I travel through the countryside is the realization of just how much there is to explore. It takes only an hour of driving from Cape Town to get to the start of Haworthia habitats from any of the three main routes inland. The roads do not always take in the best routes in respect of suitable or inviting habitats to explore, and besides there is the question of landownership and permission for access. In recent months my wife and I decided to really make an issue of new exploration and investing time and energy in contacting landowners and looking at places that we have ignored before because of access difficulties. The result has been a massive set of new finds in respect of populations not previously known to us. Having other interests such as in Drosanthemum and chameleons has also led us into places we might not have otherwise ventured.
This particular note arises from another chance find. Heidelberg is very rich as far as Haworthia is concerned and I have written quite a lot about the area or referred to populations there. It is a very important area for both H. retusa and H. mirabilis, as well as for H. floribunda and one assumes that the area has been fairly well explored. The Duiwenhoks River offers much suitable Haworthia habitat and I can count at least 30 populations along the drainage system that can be referred to those three species systems.
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).
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).