Gasteria bicolor var. liliputana (Poelln.) Van Jaarsv.
Accepted Scientific Name
Gasteria obliqua (Aiton) Duval
Dwarf Gasteria, Dwarf Lawyer's Tongue
Gasteria bicolor var. liliputana is a small succulent with dark green distichous or spirally arranged leaves mottled with white spots. It grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, usually proliferating from the base to form a small group. Leaves are smooth, rarely slightly tuberculate, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) wide.
The flowers are pendulous, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, with a variable diameter of the gasteriform portion. They are bicolored reddish-pink and green and appear from mid-winter to late spring, with a peak in early spring and occasionally throughout the year. The inflorescence is simple, sometimes with a pair of side branches, and up to 16 inches (40 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Gasterias are often grouped with Haworthia because the plants have similar cultural requirements. Both are attractive, small succulents that can tolerate somewhat more shade than many succulents, making them more suitable as houseplants. Gasterias are susceptible to fungal infections, which usually appear as black spots on the leaves. These result from too much humidity or water on the leaves, but they should not spread too quickly. Gasterias have a natural defense mechanism against such fungal attacks and attack the invading organism and seal off the wounded spot. In general, any place where Haworthia and Aloe thrive will be hospitable to a Gasteria.
They are small, shallow-rooted, and relatively slow-growing. Therefore, Gasterias are often grown in small clusters in wide, shallow dishes. Over time, clusters will naturally enlarge as the mother plant sends off small plantlets. When the cluster has outgrown its container, repot into a new wide, shallow dish with fresh potting soil in the spring or early summer. This is also the time to take offsets for propagation.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Gasteria.
Gasteria bicolor var. liliputana is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).
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