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Aloe retusa Haworthia retusa

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Aloe retusa
Phonetic Spelling
ha-WORTH-ee-a re-TOO-suh
Description

Haworthia is a large genus of small, perennial, succulent plants in the Asphodelaceae family, native to South Africa. The genus, Haworthia, was formerly known as Haworthiopsis and, over time, species have been moved from one genus to the other depending on the characteristics of their leaves. In general, Haworthia tend to have translucent epidermal windows on the tops of the leaves. Star Cactus (H. retusa) is a flowering succulent plant that forms star-shaped rosettes with its fleshy leaves, hence the common name.The plant is native to a very small area around Riversdale, in the Western Cape province of South Africa.  The genus name represents the British botanist Adrian Haworth, while the species name refers to the "retused" leaf-shape.

Haworthia tend to have erect or creeping stems from a thick woody root stock and often form small to large groups of plants. In the wild, these plants grow in very harsh conditions and are commonly found buried in sand. For gardeners, they are easy to grow, preferring a well-draining soil mix.  While they are somewhat tolerant of low-light conditions, they prefer full sun or bright direct light, which also produces the best colors in the leaves. Star Cactus is not cold tolerant and will not survive a freeze; it is often grown under glass.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Excessive watering can cause root rot. Sensitive to frost.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

More information on Haworthia.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#succulent#easy to grow#colorful leaves#pet friendly#window boxes#spreading#attractive leaves#rock garden#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plant#easy to grow houseplant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#succulent#easy to grow#colorful leaves#pet friendly#window boxes#spreading#attractive leaves#rock garden#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plant#easy to grow houseplant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Haworthia
    Species:
    retusa
    Family:
    Asphodelaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Leaf Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Africa
    Distribution:
    provinces of South Africa
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 4 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 4 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Capsule ovoid to oblong, 3-locular. Seeds with angles winged.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small, usually white, flowers in 20 inch tall racemes. Peduncle erect, simple, with a few sterile bracts; bracts membranous, small, lanceolate to ovate; pedicels short, ascending.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The thick, triangular leaves are somewhat truncated, the tops covered by a translucent "window" that gives the leaf its triangular shape. Bright light can cause many different colors to develop in the leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought