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HAWORTHIA arachnoidea

Image of Haworthia arachnoidea



Botanical Name

HAWORTHIA arachnoidea

Plant Common Name

Rough-spined Haworthia

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A leathery, fleshy rosette with ivory, spider leg-like spines describes the rough-spined haworthia. A frost-tender perennial succulent, it is native to the Western Cape province of South Africa. It grows in arid habitats, usually protected from intense sun rays under the branches of shrubs. Rough-spined haworthia slowly develops into a small cluster of rosettes after many years.

The rosette comprises dozens or scores of pointed succulent green leaves. Each is lined with white to tan, sparse spines that look like hair. The pointed tips of each leaf often partially dies from drought stress and turn golden brown. Younger plants tend to display pure white spines, while the oldest plants have deeper tan-colored spines. Flowers occur on thin upright stems. They are small and white and numerous, lining the stem. Seeds are produced after pollination, and are a good way to propagate the plant.

Grow rough-spined haworthia in sandy, fast-draining soil that is barely but evenly moist. A non-acid soil is ideal. Partial to dappled sun is best, particularly a site with brief morning sun followed by very bright, indirect light the rest of the day. Excessive sun exposure causes leaves to scald, brown and die. Wet soil quickly causes root and stem rot, especially during chilly winter months. Low ambient humidity is always needed. Where hardy, plant the rough-spined haworthia as a shady rock garden accent among rocks or in patio containers. It also fares well as a houseplant if provided bright, filtered light, light water and sandy potting mix.

Numerous naturally occurring varieties exist of the rough-spined haworthia across its native South African range. They vary in leaf color or shape, or the density or length of the spines.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2"-5" / 5.1cm - 12.7cm

  • Width

    2"-7" / 5.1cm - 17.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southern Africa, South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances


  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green, Ivory

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing