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Lithops optica 'Rubra' (Living Stones)


Scientific Name

Lithops optica 'Rubra'

Common Names

Living Stones

Scientific Classification

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


Lithops optica 'Rubra' is a beautiful succulent with a short stem and pairs of opposite leaves with ruby milky pink sides and light to dark ruby-red windows. The obconical, almost club-shaped pairs of leaves are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Each leaf pair will produce a white flower sometimes with pink tips, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and appear in fall. They open early on sunny days and then close later in the day.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 into the summer. In late summer, Lithops will go dormant, and water should be severely restricted to prevent bursting leaves. The flowers appear near the end of summer or fall, first showing up 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 be growing, but you should stop watering, even as the older leaves shrivel up and encase the new growth. In the spring, it's safe to begin lightly watering again as the plant starts to grow back, heading toward their summer dormancy period and the emergence of new leaves in the fall.

Lithops are very slow-growing, small plants, which makes 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. See more at How to Grow and Care for Lithops.


Lithops optica 'Rubra' is a cultivar of Lithops optica.


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