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Lithops coleorum (Living Stones)


Scientific Name

Lithops coleorum S.A.Hammer & R.Uijs

Common Names

Living Stones

Scientific Classification

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


This species is native to South Africa (Limpopo).


Lithops coleorum is a small succulent that grows solitary or forms clumps of usually 2 to 4 bodies composed of two fleshy leaves. The bodies are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) tall, with the upper surface usually strongly convex and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide. They are pale creamy-brown, often suffused with pink or green, and with numerous blackish or greenish translucent markings on the upper surface. Flowers are yellow, daisy-like, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and appear in early fall, opening in the late afternoon.

The specific epithet "coleorum" honors Desmond T. Cole (1922), South African professor of Bantu languages and Lithops specialist, and his wife and coworker Naureen A. Cole (1935).

How to Grow and Care for Lithops coleorum

Light: Lithops have adapted to intense sunlight in the wild, so they require a good amount of direct sunlight when grown indoors.

Soil: These plants thrive best in a growing medium that will drain quickly. Use a commercial succulent soil mix or make your own potting mix.

Hardiness: Lithops coleorum can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Watering: Lithops have 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 their growth. Never water Lithops deeply when they are dormant.

Fertilizing: These succulents do not need to be fertilized. Lithops will thrive without any feeding. If you decide to feed, use a fertilizer with high potassium and low nitrogen levels.

Repotting: Lithops will happily stay in the same pot for several decades. The common reason for repotting is to divide the plants or to allow space for clusters to grow.

Propagation: If you have multi-headed plants, Lithops can be propagated by division. They are most often grown from seeds.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Lithops.

Toxicity of Lithops coleorum

Lithops are non-toxic and safe to have around children and pets.


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