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Astroloba herrei

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Scientific Name

Astroloba herrei Uitewaal

Synonyms

Astroloba dodsoniana, Haworthia dodsoniana, Haworthia harlandiana

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Astroloba

Description

Astroloba herrei is a compact succulent with stems up to 8 inches (20 cm) high, that are densely covered in pointed succulent leaves. With its grey-green, sharp, keeled leaves and puffed up, inflated flowers, it is easily mistaken for the closely related Astroloba spiralis. However, it is genetically distinct and can always be distinguished by its flowers. Both A. spiralis and A. herrei have puffed up, inflated flowers, but those of A. herrei are smooth unlike A. spiralis, which has a wrinkled, transversely rugose, perianth.

Photo via fotki.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Astroloba plants are increasingly popular as a succulent ornamental, due to the extraordinary beauty of their leaf structure. Some have intricate patterns of lines, margins, spots and raised tubercles on their leaves. Nearly all of them display a crystal-like regularity in their leaf arrangement. This is not always apparent in wild plants, which are usually disfigured by their harsh habitat.

In cultivation, Astrolobas are at their best when provided with some protection from the full sun. In a semi-shade environment, with extremely well-drained soil and gentle conditions, Astrolobas can become remarkably beautiful and ornate.

Unfortunately, when conditions are not ideal, occasional random leaves can die, shrivel up and go brown, all along its stem. This is unfortunate because, as explained, much of the beauty of the plants comes from the intricate, crystalline pattern of their leaves. However, this disfigurement can be avoided by keeping the plants in optimal, fertile conditions – growing steadily and sheltered from stress… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Astroloba

Origin

Astroloba herrei is native to South Africa (a small area of the Karoo, on the border between the Western and Northern Cape).

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