Common name: Living Stones, Stone Plant

Family: Aizoaceae, Mesembryanthemum

Height x width: ½-1" x 1-3"

Growth rate: slow

Foliage: ovoid or cone-shaped bodies of a pair of fleshy leaves with a central fissure between; a panel of dots or patches on the upper surface

Flowers: usually solitary, daisy-like 1" across from each fissure; color varies with species

Light: full sun

Temperature: cool to warm

Watering: allow to dry between watering

Fertility: low and only for mature plants in active growth

Humidity: low, dry

Soil: well-drained as cactus

Pests and Problems: overwatering causes leaf bodies to burst, soft rot, mealybugs

Growth habit, uses: exotic small pot, desert garden, dry terrarium

Other interest: common name from resemblance to rocks; native to semi-deserts of Namibia and South Africa; name from the Greek lithos meaning stone, and opsis meaning appearance

Other culture: keep bodies above soil surface even though in native habitats they grow level with the surface; extensive root systems require larger pots than size seems to dictate

Propagation: seed, offsets


Of the over 40 species, the following may be most commonly encountered.
Species leaf bodies upper panel flowers
aucampiae reddish, sandy brown dark marked yellow
dinteri reddish, grayish 5-15 red spots yellow
dorotheae beige olive, red marked yellow
insularis greenish brown dark green, marked yellow
julii gray, red tint brown, marked, dots white
karasmontana pale red-brown dark markings white
lesliei grayish to beige olive, dotted yellow
marmorata gray to beige grayish green lined shite, scented
optica grayish greenish white white, pink tips
pulmonuncula brownish gray lined, dotted greenish golden
schwantesii variable bluish, dotted yellow
turbiniformis brown, tan, gray brown light yellow
vallis-mariae yellowish to bluish white gray lined, dots yellow

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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