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Lithops ruschiorum – Living Stones

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Scientific Name

Lithops ruschiorum (Dinter & Schwant.) N.E. Br.

Common Names

Living Stones

Synonyms

Mesembryanthemum ruschiorum (basionym), Lithops ruschiorum var. ruschiorum, Lithops pillansii, Lithops ruschiana

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Lithops ruschiorum is a stemless, perennial succulent plant. Growths solitary or usually in clumps of 5-6 heads, but may occasionally forms large clumps with more than 30 heads. Each heads consists of a single, simple, fleshy body which is split into two parts by a deep fissure, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) tall and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide. The flower is usually about the same dimension as the plant itself, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) and consists of a large number of long, narrow, yellow petals.

Photo via flickr.com

How to Grow and Care

Lithops 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, the plant 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 begins to grow again, 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.

Origin

It is endemic to Namibia. Its natural habitats are rocky areas and cold desert.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

Lithops ruschiorum subsp. nelii

Links

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