Zebra Plant

The zebra plant, or Haworthia attenuata, is of the sub family Asphodeloideae and is native to South Africa, most notably on the south-western Cape. It is identified by it’s “aloe like” structure and dark green leaves with horizontal white stripes. It ranges in size from two to eight inches tall and can reproduce either through floral production or “budding”. Because it is indigenous to semi-arid conditions, this plant has developed adaptations to aid in preventing water loss, including a waxy outer leaf coating.

In the flowering process, the plant produces a tall stalk which houses both the female and male flowers. In the wild, insects then cross pollinate the plants. However, the Hawarthia attenuata is commonly used as a “house plant” that can be potted and easily kept indoors. In this scenario, the plant usually reproduces through a process known as “budding” or “offsets”. This occurs when the plant actually makes clones of itself through the regrowth of fragments of its own tissue. In this way the plant can continue to reproduce without necessarily needing to be pollinated by a neighboring plant. This process produces small “pups” or young plants at the base of the mother plants and is common of many of the Asphodeloideae family members.

 

Works Cited:

The Encyclopedia of Succulents: “Haworthia attenuata f. variegata.” 2013 <http://www.llifle.com/Encyclopedia/SUCCULENTS/Family/Aloaceae/12106/Haworthia_attenuata_f._variegata&gt;

Wikipedia: “Haworthia.” 2013 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haworthia&gt;

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