Gasteria rawlinsonii Oberm.
Baviaanskloof Cliff Gasteria
Gasteria rawlinsonii is endemic to the mountainous Baviaanskloof region in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It occurs in steep, shady, narrow ravines, growing in abundance.
Gasteria rawlinsonii is a shrubby succulent with long, usually unbranched stems with distichous or spirally arranged leaves. It is prolific from the base. The stems are initially erect but become pendulous as they grow, reaching up to 3.3 feet (1 m) long. The leaves are strap-shaped, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, and armed with distinct white- to green prickles that harden and turn black with age. They are green, slightly rough, and not spotted.
The plant blooms throughout the year, with a peak in spring. The inflorescences are suberect racemes that bear up to 20 reddish-pink flowers and can reach up to 20 inches (50 cm) in length. The typical gasteriform flowers measure up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. The fruits are egg-shaped capsules up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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, 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. They have a natural defense mechanism against such fungal attacks: attack the invading organism and seal off the wounded spot. Generally, any place where Haworthia and Aloe thrive will be hospitable to a Gasteria.
These succulents are small, shallow-rooted, and relatively slow-growing. Therefore, 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.
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