Saturday, 6 May 2017

Gasteria croucheri

Gasteria croucheri

Gasteria croucheri has a wide distribution from the Mzimvubu River in the Eastern Cape to Durban in central KwaZulu-Natal. It is mainly confined to cliff faces, growing in quartzitic sandstone rock formations (rarely on shale), also on rocky outcrops among leaf litter in subtropical shrub forest adjacent to the river valleys. The climate is moderate, without frost, and hot and humid during summers. Rainfall is mainly during the warmer summer months ranging between 1 000 to 1 250 mm per annum. Winters are dry but with the occasional cold fronts and ample winter rain.

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Most Gasteria species thrive in cultivation, both indoors and outdoors. In Gasteria bicolor var. liliputatana, it was mentioned that some are used for medicinal purposes and G. croucheri is a popular plant in KwaZulu-Natal. The plants are sometimes placed on the roofs of dwellings in the Eastern Cape, with the belief that the lightning will not strike the house. The Zulu people use parts of the plants in faction fights, believing that it will make them partly camouflaged so the enemy will not see them.


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