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Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard)


Scientific Name

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Marloth) G.D.Rowley

Common Names

Fairy Washboard, File Leafed Haworthia


Haworthia keithii, Haworthia limifolia, Haworthia limifolia f. major, Haworthia limifolia f. marlothiana, Haworthia limifolia f. pimentellii, Haworthia limifolia f. schuldtiana, Haworthia limifolia var. diploidea, Haworthia limifolia var. keithii, Haworthia limifolia var. limifolia, Haworthia limifolia var. marlothiana, Haworthia limifolia var. schuldtiana, Haworthia limifolia var. stolonifera, Haworthia limifolia var. tetraploidea, Haworthia marlothiana

Scientific Classification

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


Haworthiopsis limifolia, formerly known as Haworthia limifolia, is a succulent that forms a rosette of light to very dark green, even brownish-green leaves. The rosette grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Leaves are triangular to ovate-lanceolate, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide at the base. Flowers are white, tubular, not very showy, and appear in clusters on a slender, up to 14 inches (35 cm) long stem.

The specific epithet "limifolia" is a Latin compound adjective meaning "file-like leaves" and refers to the appearance of the raised linear ridges of tubercles along the leaves. It is made up of two words, the verb "limes," meaning "file" or "sharpen" and the noun folia," meaning "leaf."

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) aka Haworthia limifolia

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

How to Grow and Care

These succulents are not considered difficult houseplants to grow. If you can keep a pot of Aloe alive on a windowsill, chances are you can do the same with a dish of Haworthia. As with all succulents, the most dangerous situation is too much water. They should never be allowed to sit in water under any circumstances. At the same time, these decorative, little plants can be grown in interesting containers such as teacups and even miniature baby shoes. If you're given a Haworthia in such a container, make sure the container had adequate drainage.

Haworthias are small, usually remaining between 3  and 5 inches (7.5 cm and 12.5 cm)  in height 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. When the cluster has outgrown its container, repot in the spring or early summer into a new wide and shallow dish with fresh potting soil. This is also the time to take offsets for propagation. See more at How to Grow and Care for Haworthia.


Native to southern Africa.

Varieties, Forms, and Cultivars


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