Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lithops, Living Stones

I bought this little plant a number of years ago in a garden centre for a whole three or four dollars. It was just one 'stone' then. One year it divided itself into two stones, and then flowered!

Although it did set seed they didnt germinate, but no matter. Its still a fascinating little plant. It has just finished re-newing itself as it does at the end of winter each year.

The topmost surface of each stone has tiny windows in it to allow the sun to shine inside the plant for photosynthesis, therefore, no leaves are necessary!

You can see an amazing number of these plants at, or here is a Wikipedia Lithops page, or even more info at


BetteJo said...

I have never seen such a thing in my life! Am I well sheltered, or what? Strange question maybe, but are they very delicate - and what do they feel like?

william said...

LITHOPS are a beautiful mimicary plant found mostely in the desserts of Africa.The diversity of these small easy to care for plants stagger the imigation from dark drabs to intense colors of the rainbow with spots to viened leaf like windows to let light in for photssenisis. They have developed to their harsh enviroment by developing two wide,thick,conical inverted leaves.

Anonymous said...

Great you got them flowering. It's not easy to keep them because a little too much water at the wrong time and they will die. They are absolutely adapted to dry climate, look at them being so round - surface to volume ratio is most perfectly adapted for not having large water losses. They are highly succulent and usually buried between the stones, only the upper surface with the little windows watches out to collect light. Amazing!

Lavender said...

BetteJo Oh no, not sheltered, just busy doing other stuff!! LOL I dont see them often myself, in fact, Ive not seen another for sale since I bought these...they feel smooth to the touch - so far out arent they?!

William Ah, I see you are well versed in these - well done, glad you liked them, Thanks for stopping by!

Areeiro Is suspected you might enjoy these :) Ive been collecting these pics of them in thier various phases just for the blog.
I was extremely amazed when I realized it was preparing to flower and kept a very close eye on it. The flower lasted for many weeks, and I suspected that I do not have its pollinator here in my area - so I attempted to pollinate it myself - it worked, but obviously conditions in the pot the parent plant occupys were not good enough for germination - oh well, maybe I will get another chance one day, Cheers!

4love said...

i have never seen this thing before...this is brillant

Emma said...

Hi lavender i stumbled upon youre blog by accident (when i was supposed to be writing dissertation) and now im a follower. Your blog is very interesting. I your lithops look 100 times healthier than mine.x

Anonymous said...

Probably it does not like self pollinization. You should try and get a second Lithops of this species and cross-fertilize them ... maybe you have more luck then.

Lavender said...

4love Thank you, Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Emma Ah, blogs are a great way to procrastinate! Thanks for stopping in and commenting....I think growing these in the UK would be very difficult indeed, so Id bet yours are the best in Britain!

Areeiro Excellent point Mate! I hope to find another one of these trips to the garden center...although it is tempting to see a specialist grower - but Im afraid Id have another collection going if I did LOL