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Gasteria bicolor var. liliputana (Dwarf Gasteria)


Scientific Name

Gasteria bicolor var. liliputana (Poelln.) Van Jaarsv.

Common Names

Dwarf Gasteria, Dwarf Lawyer's Tongue


Gasteria liliputana (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Gasteria


Gasteria bicolor var. liliputana is a dwarf, succulent perennial with leafy stems up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. The leaves are dark green, mottled with cream spots, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide. The flowers are small, about 0.8 inches (2 cm), pendulous, tubular to globose, bicolored, reddish-pink, and green and look like little stomachs. The inflorescence can be simple or branched and very tall, up to 5 feet (1.5 m).

Photo by Wayne Fagerlund


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, which makes them more suitable as houseplants. Gasterias are susceptible to fungal infections, which usually appear as black spots on the leaves. These are the result of 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. 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 dish, repot in the spring or early summer into a new wide and shallow dish with fresh potting soil. This is also the time to take offsets for propagation. See more at How to Grow and Care for Gasteria.


Native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).


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