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Gasteria pillansii (Namaqua Gasteria)


Scientific Name

Gasteria pillansii Kensit

Common Names

Namaqua Gasteria, Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Lawyer's Tongue, Cow Tongue Cactus, Cattle Tongue


Gasteria pillansii var. pillansii, Gasteria neliana

Scientific Classification

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


Gasteria pillansii is stemless succulent with strap-shaped leaves in two opposite rows and is very variable in its appearance and especially in its size. The rosettes are up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and 16 inches (40 cm) wide. The flowers are up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) long, with only slightly swollen bases for up to 1/3 of the length.

Gasteria pillansii (Namaqua Gasteria)

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USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Gasteria 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. Gasteria 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. Gasteria 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.

Gasteria 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Gasteria


It is native to the arid winter-rainfall regions in the far west of South Africa and Namibia.


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