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Haworthia cymbiformis (Cathedral Window Haworthia)


Scientific Name

Haworthia cymbiformis (Haw.) Duval

Common Names

Boat-formed Haworthia, Cathedral Window Haworthia, Windowed Boats, Window Boats, Window Haworthia


Aloe cymbaefolia, Aloe cymbiformis, Catevala cymbiformis

Scientific Classification

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


Native to South Africa (Port Elizabeth to East London in the Eastern Cape Province, on rocky slopes along rivers and streams).


Haworthia cymbiformis is a small, stemless succulent with rosettes of pale green leaves with dark longitudinal stripes and transparent tips. It offsets profusely to form attractive clusters. The rosettes grow up to 3 inches (8 cm) tall and 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Leaves are fleshy, boat-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. Flowers are tubular, white to very pale pink with brownish-green veins and appear from mid-spring to early summer on slender, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall inflorescences.

The specific epithet "cymbiformis" means "boat-shaped." It derives from the Latin words "cymba," meaning "boat" and "formis," meaning "having the form of," and refers to to the way the leaves curve inward and come to a point.

How to Grow and Care for Haworthia cymbiformis

Light: Although some species can grow in full, bright sun, most Haworthias live in more sheltered spots, and they are adapted to thrive in partial shade. Place the potted plants in a bright area with some protection from the hottest rays of the day.

Soil: All Haworthia species do not like their roots to remain wet for prolonged periods, so their potting soil should be well-drained. Use a commercial succulent soil or make your own well-draining potting mix.

Hardiness: Haworthia cymbiformis can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: These succulents are very tolerant of underwatering, but overwatering can quickly lead to rotting. From spring to fall, water thoroughly, then wait until the top of the soil dries out before watering again. During the winter rest period, water just enough to keep leaves from shriveling.

Fertilizing: Haworthias do not require much fertilizer. For optimum growth, fertilization is a good idea. Feed only with a dilute fertilizer and only during the active growing season.

Repotting: These succulents are generally slow-growing and can stay in the same pot for years. For best health, Haworthias should be repotted into fresh soil every two to three years.

Propagation: Vegetative propagation, especially by offsets, is the quickest and most common method of propagating Haworthias. They can also be propagated by leaves and seeds.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Haworthia.

Toxicity of Haworthia cymbiformis

Haworthia species are generally non-toxic to humans and animals.

Varieties, Forms, and Hybrids of Haworthia cymbiformis


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