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Lithops fulviceps (Yellow Living Stones)


Scientific Name

Lithops fulviceps (N. E. Br.) N. E. Br.


Lithops fulviceps f. aurea, Lithops fulviceps var. fulviceps, Lithops lydiae, Mesembryanthemum fulviceps, Mesembryanthemum ortendahlii

Common Names

Golden Living Stones, Yellow Living Stones, Tawny Head Living Stones

Scientific Classification

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


This species is native to Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape), found in rocky areas and cold desert regions.


Lithops fulviceps is a small succulent with a body that consists of a pair of fleshy leaves that range in color from red-brown, yellow-brown, gray-brown to gray with greenish or pinkish tinges. The body grows up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) tall and up to 4 inches (2.5 cm) wide. The top surface of the leaves is flattened with many, slightly raised, dark gray-green to blue-green dots and sometimes with yellow, orange-brown, or red markings. Older plants form clumps of up to 10 ten bodies. Flowers are yellow, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter, and appear in fall from the fissure between the leaves.

The specific epithet "fulviceps" derives from the Latin word "fulvus," meaning "yellowish-brown or tawny" and "caput," meaning "head," and refers to the color of the leaves.

Lithops fulviceps

Photo by Dornenwolf

How to Grow and Care for Lithops fulviceps

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 fulviceps 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 fulviceps

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

Cultivars of Lithops fulviceps


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