Lithops karasmontana N.E.Br.
Karas Mountains Living Stone
Lithops karasmontana var. karasmontana, Mesembryanthemum karasmontanum
Lithops karasmontana is a dwarf, clump-forming succulent with pairs of thick, fleshy leaves fused in the shape of an inverted cone, with a central fissure dividing them. The bodies grow up to 2 inches (4 cm) tall. They are grey with brown mottling on the upper surface. The face is kidney-shaped, flat to slightly convex, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long, and up to 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) wide.
Flowers are white, up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) in diameter, and appear in fall. Fruits are usually 5-chambered capsules with yellow-brown seeds inside.
Lithops karasmontana is native to Namibia.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 325 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
These plants develop a new set of leaves every year, with new leaves emerging in the fall and growing through the winter and summer. Lithops are dormant in late summer, and water should be severely restricted to prevent bursting leaves. The flowers appear near the end of summer or fall, first as a small bud forcing its way between the leaves, and growth will begin again. It's safe to water during this period. Heading into the winter, the leaves will still grow, but you should stop watering, even as the older leaves shrivel and encase the new growth. In the spring, it's safe to begin lightly watering again as the plant begins to grow again, heading toward its summer dormancy period and the emergence of new leaves in the fall.
Lithops are very slow-growing, small plants, making them ideal as houseplants (once you get the hang of their watering schedule). Older plants form attractive clumps of "pebbles" in their pots, which are highly prized. In general, plants should only be repotted if there are cultural problems (soggy soil) or the plant has outgrown its dish container, which will only happen every several years.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Lithops.
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