Haworthias are short-stemmed, perennial plants,often forming clumps of rosettes which are sometimes elongated and belong to the plant family Liliaceae. These species are native only to parts of South and South West Africa.
The Wollongong Botanic Garden in partnership with the Friends of the Wollongong Botanic Garden have acquired one of the largest known private collections of Haworthia’s collected by Kiama local Leo Cady.
Mr Cady is a respected authority on Haworthias and Australian Orchids and spent more than 40 years curating over 1000 specimens of Haworthia now under the care of the Botanic Garden.
The Wollongong Botanic Garden is thrilled to now have this collection as some specimens are over 100 years old having been passed down through 3 owners.
Mr Cady believes that when a plant reaches 100 years of age “it becomes a true antique and should be given special attention”.
Haworthia’s are part of the Cacti group of plants. They grow slowly and require patience and understanding to see they mature into a fully developed plant.
“Many people fail to look past the prickles on a cactus and so miss the beautiful vibrant colours they produce”.
In their natural habitat at Cape Province South Africa, they grow well down in the soil for protection from servere sunlight with certain species growing so far embedded in the soil that only the tips of the leaves are showing.
Others grow under bushes and trees which afford them protection from the hot African sun.
The Genus Haworthia was first discovered in 1809 and named after Adrian Hardy Haworth, a noted botanist who lived between 1768-1833.
The charm exerted on collectors of Haworthias is due largely to the extreme diversity of form and colour shown by the species, and also the challenges presented in attempting to classify and name individual specimens.
The Leo Cady Haworthia Collection will be displayed within the Joseph Banks Glasshouse with specimens rotated regularly.