Yesterday I asked for help with a positive ID for this plant:



The question came from someone who stumbled across my blog. I think it’s a Gasteraloe or a Gasterhaworthia, most likely the latter, but since it’s difficult to tell due to all the hybrids out there, I posed the question to my regular readers.

Let’s see how you answered:

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Not my area, never been into these genus. If it’s not a hawthoria, it’s a gastehawthoria. But that’s the best i can do.”

Ginny Burton, of Burton Optician in DC, wrote, “I’m surprised it’s doing so well; it looks way overpotted, doesn’t it?”

mr_subjunctive from Plants Are the Strangest People wrote, “I’d be inclined to vote Gasterworthia (maybe ‘Banded Pearls’ or ‘Royal Highness?’[1]) as well, but I wouldn’t rule out Aloe, Haworthia, Gasteria, Gasteraloe, or Alworthia either. There are just too many species and hybrids to keep track of, appearance can vary from specimen to specimen according to the kind of care they receive, I’m not an expert in IDing these sorts of plants, even if I were an expert, I’d bet that you can’t make a definite ID without seeing the flowers, and care is so similar for all six options that I’m not sure it matters on a practical level.

Not that I wouldn’t like to know anyway, because I’m neurotic like that. I mean, I appreciate the impulse. I just think it might be one of those questions that can never be answered for sure without resorting to genetic analysis.

[1] (Those are the only two named Gasterworthia varieties I’m aware of.)”

Ok, that’s good. Maybe we didn’t nail it entirely, but we at least agree that we’re pointing her in the right direction. I’m glad mr_s and I seem to be on the same page about how difficult it is to ID all the hybrids.

Thank you to each of you for your input. If anyone else would like to chime in, please do so in the comments section.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a brand-new Ask the Experts panel, as well as an answer to last week’s puzzler. Hope to see you back here.