Haworthia variegata var. modesta is a stemless leaf succulent bearing its leaves in a ground-level rosette. The small rosette of about 4 cm in diameter bears about 40 leaves. The plant clumps readily, its older leaves curving out slightly and spreading.
The leaf colour is dark green with white spots scattered along the upper parts, sometimes forming longitudinal lines. Leaf shape is lanceolate, thickly succulent with the upper surface nearly flat, the lower one bulging and the leaves tapering to acutely pointed tips. There are small whitish marginal teeth, also on the uncentered keel.
Flowers are produced in a tall inflorescence comprising one raceme of spirally arranged white flowers.
The distribution of the H. variegata species is coastal from Bredasdorp and Swellendam to Stilbaai. The plant’s habitat is fynbos in shallow soils on limestone outcrops and quartzite overlaying shale. The variety is believed to be found near the Breede River and the sea.
Determining this variety’s risk of extinction is bedevilled by confusion as to the identities of a group of obscurely related plants, similar in appearance. Estimating population size can follow unambiguous or at least less compromised allocation of plants of this group to taxa (http://haworthiaupdates.org; www.redlist.sanbi.org).