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Gasteria disticha (Great Karoo Ox-tongue)


Scientific Name

Gasteria disticha (L.) Haw.

Common Names

Great Karoo Ox-tongue


Aloe disticha, Ptyas disticha

Scientific Classification

Family: Asphodelaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Tribe: Aloeae
Genus: Gasteria


Gasteria disticha is a small succulent, up to 9 inches (22.5 cm) tall, with strap-shaped leaves in 2 opposite rows. Leaves are green with white spots arranged in irregular transverse bands, often with wavy margins. They are up to 6.8 inches (17 cm) long and up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, pink to reddish-pink, and usually appear in spring.

Gasteria disticha (Great Karoo Ox-tongue)

Photo by Cok Grootscholten


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

How to Grow and Care

These plants are often grouped with Haworthias 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. They 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.

These succulents are small, shallow-rooted, and relatively slow-growing. They are often grown in small clusters in wide, shallow dishes. Over time, clusters will naturally enlarge as the mother plant sends off small plantlets.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Gasteria.


Gasteria disticha is native to the Western Cape, South Africa.


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