Saturday, December 12, 2009

Living Stones - Lithops

Lithops julii

Lithops dish garden

Lithops optica v. rubra

From Wikipedia: Lithops is a genus of succulent plants native to Africa, mainly in Namibia and South Africa. It is especially characteristic of the Karoo region at Africa's southern tip.

"Lithos" means "stone" and "opsis" means "face" in Ancient Greek; therefore, "Lithops" means "stone-face". This is a very good description of these plants, which avoid being eaten by blending in with surrounding pebbles (camouflage).

They are often known as pebble plants or living stones. First description of lithops was made by William John Burchell, explorer of South Africa, botanist and artist, who in 1811 accidentally found a specimen when picking up from the ground a "colorful pebble".

Our species, Lithops optica, was first collected by Dr Rudolph Marloth in 1909 near Lüderitz in Namibia.

It is endemic to the Lüderitz district of the southern Namib Desert where it grows on the coastal plains. Its habitat is very sandy and it is often found growing among rocks and gravel where it is very difficult to spot. Its climate is cool due to the cold Atlantic Ocean and frequent fog, and rainfall is mainly during the winter, ranging between 20-50 mm per annum.

Related Post: Amazing Lithops Collection

Image Credits: Unknown


  1. Great pics - Lithops are one of my new faves, gotta have some! I did try to grow some from seed, but a creature ate the teensy little seedlings. I think it must have been a chipmunk. Rotten varmint...

  2. Hey Jacki,

    Thanks for your visit and comment ...

    The area I am in now in southern namibia is a succulent paradise ...

    I have done a few posts on them before:


    and I've got a few more lined-up for future posting if you're interested.



  3. Simply gorgeous, especially that last pic And the second. And the other two... I was just googling Lithops and came across these, lucky me. :0)

  4. Thanks for the visit and comment Mand, glad you found my blog ...

    ... yes, they are lovely plants, I wish that I had taken the pictures ...

  5. ... Oh, you didn't?

    You should never have told me! ;0)

  6. Haha no, I label my pics "OneStonedCrow" pics and I give credit when I know the name of the photographer ... or "Credit Unknown" as the case may be ... :)