Growing strongly exposed in Little Karoo shale, this multi-stemmed Haworthiopsis viscosa plant curves and twists, making the most of its high visibility life station. The species is associated with arid regions, sometimes hanging from crevices of rock cliffs, while showing no signs of being daunted by low soil availability.
Coloured brown here, the plant’s usual dry season summer garb, the three densely packed tiers of scabrous leaves, a trifarious leaf arrangement, remind of the defence system of the pangolin or scaly anteater. Viscosa means sticky, a feature not always found in these plants.
The dense clump keeps on adding more stems from offsets just below ground level. Stems may also branch high up, a feature less often seen.
This plant may consider itself lucky not to have been browsed by local herbivores, being so unprotected and easy to spot, away from the larger shrubs. The species overcomes drought better than heavy browsing (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Wikipedia; http://haworthia-gasteria.blogspot.co.za).