Haworthia Update 2

Haworthia Update volume 2 Bruce Bayer continues to explore, study, think critically, and write; here is his latest compilation. 166 A4 pages, gloss art paper, thermal bound between two 250g A4 white card covers. Well over 500 photographs and maps, all of which are color except for a few archive and SEM photos. Photos are mainly 8 to an A4 page. 18 chapters cover a wide range of topics on these popular Southern African plants. Several topographical maps help illustrate the points Bruce makes. Since the publication of Haworthia Revisited Bruce Bayer has located and studied nearly 1000 new Haworthia populations. He uses this information to revise his own classification of Haworthia and to comment on the taxonomy of others, who will not have had the benefits of his extensive field research as a basis for their work. Available from:

Harry Mays
Editor, Alsterworthia International
Woodsleigh, Moss Lane, St Michaels on Wyre, Preston, PR3 0TY, UK
[email protected]


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Grass Aloes in the South African Veld

Charles Craib and Umdaus Press have done it again! Grass Aloes in the South African Veld is a wonderful collection of field notes and species descriptions that makes for a wonderful read for those of us unable to get out into the veld. The watercolors by Gillian Condy and the pencil drawings by Murry Ralfe make this technical presentation a work of art as well. The book is large format, 23x32cm (9×12.5 inches) with 150+ pages, 59 paintings and drawings (although no photographs). In addition to a number of articles on habitat ecology 28 species are covered, each with a distribution map and a full page watercolor. The chapter Taxonomy and the sociology of botanical knowledge is a hoot. That is I had a lot of fun reading and thinking about what Craib has to say. He writes, "Families, genera and species are concepts defined by the purpose they serve in organizing and classifying knowledge. These concepts in botany need not be demonstrated empirically and their historical use in taxonomy is probably closest to an art form rather than a science." Oh?? So much debate, so much anxiety and ink spilt over classifications I had thought the battles were over scientific "truth". I guess I’m relieved that taxonomy is but a form of political science discourse. Well done Mr. Craib! Would you please give Haworthia a look?

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Gerhard Marx

Artist Gerhard Marx

Cymbiformis by Gerhard Marx Viscosa by Gerhard MarxEmelyae by Gerhard Marx Retusa by Gerhard Marx

Watercolors painted by Gerhard Marx in 2003 of photos taken by Lawrence Loucka while on field trip in October 2002.



H. cooperi var. pilifera from Brakkloof, Grahamstown District by J. G. Marx.

H. cooperi var. pilifera from Brakkloof, Grahamstown District.  From the cover of Haworthia Update vol.1 by Bruce Bayer.


Springbokvlakensis by Gerhard Marx

From the collection of David Martin.


From Penrock Newsletter, September 2009



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South Africa – October 8-10, 2002

Tuesday 8-10 October – Cape Town – De Hoop – Cape Town and flights back to the States.

De Hoop Nature Reserve
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DSC01577De Hoop Nature Reserve
Tel:  ++27 28 542 1126
Fax:  ++27 28 542 1247
[email protected]



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South Africa – October 7, 2002

Monday 7 October: Kweekkraal – Heidelberg – Swellendam – Bredasdorp – Napier – Caledon – Cape Town

Northeast of Riversdale on the edge of town is a ridge where there are three forms of Retusa: Haworthia magnifica, H. retusa geraldii, H. retusa foucheri.  S34’05”, E021’16”.DSC01522b DSC01523 DSC01524 DSC01525 DSC01526


Bulbine (mesembryanthemoides?)

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West of Swellendam at the N2 Breederiver horseshoe is Haworthia venosa.DSC01536 DSC01538 DSC01539 DSC01541

17km northeast of Bredasdorp is Hawothia marasii.  S34’23”, E020’09”.DSC01542 DSC01543 DSC01544 DSC01545 DSC01546 DSC01547 DSC01548 DSC01549 DSC01551 DSC01552


Haworthia badia at Napier near the quary.  S34’27”, E019′,53″.DSC01554 DSC01555 DSC01556 DSC01557 DSC01558 DSC01560

And on to Cape Town and the end of the group tour.  Gretchen and I stayed on a few more days visiting with Kobus and Bruce and then a trip to De Hoop.

The Commodore
Portswood Road, Waterfront Cape Town 8001
Tel: +27 (0) 21 415 1000 Fax: +27 (0) 21 415 1100/77
Email: [email protected]

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