Haworthia blackburniae W.F.Barker
Haworthia blackburniae var. blackburniae
This uncommon species is native to South Africa. It is common in quartzitic rock in the Rooiberg mountains southeast of Calitzdorp, extending to about 20 mi (32 km) west of Ladismith.
Haworthia blackburniae is one of two unusual species with slender canaliculate grass-like leaves, fibrous dry leaf bases, and thick fusiform roots. The rosettes are stemless and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter at the base, usually forming a small clump. The leaves vary from very long and slender to short and with a tendency to flex downward and sideways. They are bright green to brownish green or dark greyish green, up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) wide, channeled on the upper surface, and with glabrous or slightly toothed margins. Flowers are white with brown veins and appear spirally arranged on simple, slender, up to 9 inches (22 cm) tall inflorescences in summer.
The specific epithet "blackburniae (blak-BURN-ee-ay)" honors Mrs. H. Blackburn (fl. 1936), wife of the station master at Calitzdorp, Western Cape, South Africa.
How to Grow and Care for Haworthia blackburniae
Light: Place the potted plant in a bright area with some protection from the hottest rays of the day. White, yellow, or red-tinged leaves usually indicate that your H. blackburniae receives too much sunlight. Deep shade tends to weaken the plant over a prolonged period. If your plant has spent the winter indoors, gradually move it outdoors into the bright sun to prevent sunburn.
Soil: Like all Haworthias, this plant does not like its roots to remain wet for prolonged periods, so the soil should be well-drained. Use a commercial potting mix for succulents or make your own.
Temperature: This succulent likes warmer temperatures in the summer but cool in the winter. However, it does not like being too cold. H. blackburniae can withstand temperatures as low as 30 °F (-1.1 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10a to 11b, 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C).
Watering: In spring and fall, when the growth is most active, water H. blackburniae thoroughly, then wait until the top of the soil dries out before watering again. Water your plant less during the winter when its growth slows down significantly. During the hottest summer months, when this plant is mostly dormant, water just enough to keep the leaves from shriveling.
Fertilizing: H. blackburniae does not require much fertilizer. However, for optimum growth, fertilization is a good idea. Feed only with a dilute fertilizer and only during the active growing season.
Repotting: This slow-growing succulent can stay in the same pot for years. To keep your plant healthy and happy, repot H. blackburniae into fresh soil every two to three years in spring or fall. Repotting time is also the time to take offsets for propagation.
Propagation: The quickest and most common method of propagating H. blackburniae is by offsets. It can also be propagated by leaves and seeds. Remove the offsets when they have started developing their own roots. Sow the seeds in spring or fall in a well-draining soil mix.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Haworthia.
Toxicity of Haworthia blackburniae
H. blackburniae is considered non-toxic to humans and animals.
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