Haworthia cooperi is a stemless leaf succulent, a dwarf plant forming rosettes on the ground. These plants, all growing somewhere in the Eastern Province, are highly variable.
There are plants with short, broad leaves in tight rosettes, others with loose rosettes and short or long, broad or narrow leaves. Leaf tips vary; some have awns or acute tips, others have obtuse tips. Leaf margins vary from entire to serrated, and so on.
Too many differences and too few similarities may have been taken into account. The splitters had their field day or too many days, naming about a dozen varieties. So, the lumpers are likely to undo some of it, a bit like the conservative comeback: Overdoing separation of too many varieties may be followed by a turnaround, so watch this space!
Fortunately, there are the techniques of molecular biology today that supersede plant appearance as the main classifier, resulting in taxonomy based on common ancestry. A couple of PhDs later and all should be well.
Until another high curiosity creative youngster squints at an innocent flower, pondering a new angle. If the professor is convinced, a few years of work follow to upturn the applecart yet again. Grey-haired back garden buffs grumble about having to revise the ten botanical names they remember yet again (Scott, 1985; www.redlist.sanbi.org).
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