What succulent is this?
July 16, 2008 3:37 PM   Subscribe

What sort of cactus or succulent did I buy?

I bought what I thought was a small cactus from a farmer's market. The person I bought it from didn't know what it was, but I figured that I could look it up online or in a book. Well, after looking through almost all of cactiguide.com and a few books at the bookstore, I am offically stumped.

Pictures: 1 and 2

The plant is about four inches high, and the petal-leaf-thingies are very firm to the pinch, and are covered in tiny hard white scales. When I first got it, the "leaves" were tighter together, like an arcane artichoke, but now they have opened up a little bit.

I have a sort of anti-green thumb, but this plant is so cute, I really want to know how to care for it so it actually stays alive!
posted by andeles to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
It's a Haworthia. I'm sure someone is writing up a post now with links to the exact variety.

Don't worry about your black thumb. Don't water it very much, and give it as much sun as you can.
posted by bink at 3:59 PM on July 16, 2008

It's something in genus Haworthia, I'm fairly sure. I'll guess H. parksiana or H. attenuata, but it could well be a hybrid.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:01 PM on July 16, 2008

It looks like a Haworthia to me too, and when I searched for that, I found this neat website that has lots of pictures of all the different varieties and subgenus of Haworthia. I couldn't find one that looked exactly like yours, but you'll be a better judge of that, and there are certainly some like this one and these ones that look pretty close...?
posted by onoclea at 4:03 PM on July 16, 2008

OK... Make it H. pumila of some sort. Bookmarking that site, onoclea. Thanks.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:12 PM on July 16, 2008

How cute! Succulents are tough, and it looks like you've got it in a good-sized pot, so it should thrive where it is, as long as you don't overwater it. Make sure the dirt in the pot is dry before you water it, and then water it thoroughly (until water starts to run out the hole in the bottom -- there is a hole in the bottom of that pot, right? If not, there should be.) This will ensure that the water reaches all of the roots, but doesn't stick around to cause root rot. Then, wait until the dirt is dry again and repeat. It'll tolerate being too dry better than being too wet, so err on the side of caution. Good luck!
posted by vorfeed at 9:20 PM on July 16, 2008

Wonderful, thank you everyone! I'm very glad to know at least what genus it is, and I'll poke around that Haworthia website a little more. And thanks especially for the care tips, vorfeed.
posted by andeles at 12:10 PM on July 17, 2008

And for posterity's sake, it appears to be a Haworthia coarctata (chalwinii).
posted by andeles at 3:09 PM on July 17, 2008

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