Botanical name: Gasteria
Botanical name: Gasteria
Lawyer's tongue are a genus of attractive succulent plants, many of which are grown ornamentally for their thick and patterned leaves. Unusually for succulents, these southern African natives are quite shade-tolerant and are therefore well-suited to growing as houseplants. They grow slowly and most species are compact enough to grow in small containers.
Species of Lawyer's tongue
Little Warty (Gasteria 'little warty') is named for the small wart-like bumps that speckle the undersides of its thick, striated leaves. Each plant grows in rosette-shaped clumps before forming offshoots. Because of its hardiness, little Warty is considered an ideal houseplant for beginners.
The flat-leaf gasteria (Gasteria armstrongii) is a slow-growing indigenous South African dwarf succulent. The flat-leaf gasteria is the most endangered species of Gasteria in the wild due to habitat loss. This species is easily cultivated in gardens and pots, and is considered long-lived. The flat-leaf gasteria grows best in well-balanced fertilizer when its soil is allowed to dry out between waterings.
Lawyer's tongue is a succulent native to South Africa. Its long stems support its orange, pink, and burgundy bell-shaped blossoms. It is preferably grown in pots or containers with numerous drainage holes, but it grows much larger in its natural environment.
Dune gasteria (Gasteria acinacifolia) is a succulent species endemic to South Africa. Sunbirds are attracted to dune gasteria nectar. This is a strictly coastal species and is considered ideal for coastal gardens, as it grows the largest of all the Gasteria species. This plant has cultural value to indigenous peoples of South Africa, some of whom believe it to have magical powers.
Bredasdorp gasteria (Gasteria carinata) is a small succulent native to South Africa. Bredasdorp gasteria is a slow-growing species that is often cultivated in shallow ornamental dishes as a houseplant. This species is susceptible to fungal infections, and should be kept in dry areas to avoid fungal growth on the leaves.
Gracilis leaves grow symmetrical and have small uneven white spots on the dark green surface. It is a rather common indoor foliage plant and is often placed on desks, coffee tables, or window sills for decoration.
Tongue aloe (Gasteria carinata var. verrucosa) shares family ties with various aloe varieties, but has the most unique and striking foliage pattern, covered with warty tubercles. These bumps look almost like the plant is infested with the scale, an insect that feasts on plants' fluids, although it is not.
Care Guide for Lawyer's tongue
OrderAsparagus and allies