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Lithops bromfieldii (Living Stones)

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Scientific Name

Lithops bromfieldii L.Bolus

Common Name(s)

Living Stones

Synonym(s)

Lithops bromfieldii f. sulphurea, Lithops bromfieldii var. bromfieldii, Lithops bromfieldii var. glaudinae, Lithops bromfieldii var. insularis, Lithops bromfieldii var. mennellii, Lithops glaudinae, Lithops insularis, Lithops mennellii, Lithops rooi, Lithops rouxii

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Tribe: Ruschieae
Genus: Lithops

Origin

This species is native to South Africa (Northern Cape), where it grows in quartzite, often hidden in the bushes.

Description

Lithops bromfieldii is a small succulent that grows solitary or forms clumps of usually 2 to 10 bodies in the form of an inverted cone. It grows up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) tall. Each body consists of a pair of fleshy, pinkish-grey leaves separated by a shallow fissure. The bodies' upper surface is flat or slightly convex, elliptical to kidney-shaped, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. The leaf windows are dark green or more or less absent with irregular yellow-brown and red to dark brown-red markings. Flowers are yellow, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter, and appear from the fissure between the leaves in fall.

Etymology

The specific epithet "bromfieldii (brom-FEELD-ee-eye)" honors Mr. H. Bromfield (fl. 1933); no further data available.

How to Grow and Care for Lithops bromfieldii

Light: A sunny windowsill where the plant receives 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight during the early part of the day and partial shade during the afternoon is the perfect spot to grow your L. bromfieldii. From spring to fall, you may place the pot on the balcony or in the garden.

Soil: L. bromfieldii thrives best in a growing medium that will drain quickly. Use a commercial soil mix for succulents or make your own potting mix.

Hardiness: High temperatures are not a problem for this plant as long as there is plenty of fresh air, but it is not a cold-hardy succulent. L. bromfieldii can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: Like all Lithops, this succulent has a specific yearly cycle of growth, and it is important to water only during certain stages, but it is also important to keep the soil dry at other stages of its growth. How often you need to water your L. bromfieldii depends on how quickly the potting mix dries out. It is essential to let the soil dry out between waterings. Stop watering during the winter months to allow the old leaf pair to dry out, and the new pair to develop.

Fertilizing: L. bromfieldii does not need to be fertilized. It will thrive without any feeding. If you decide to feed, use a fertilizer with high potassium and low nitrogen levels.

Repotting: This small succulent will happily stay in the same pot for several decades. The common reason for repotting is to divide the plant or to allow space for clusters to grow. Repot only when its growing season starts.

Propagation: L. bromfieldii is most often grown from seeds. If you have a multi-headed plant, it can also be propagated by division. Sow the seeds during the summer.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Lithops.

Toxicity of Lithops bromfieldii

L. bromfieldii is non-toxic and safe to have around children and pets.

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