Saturday, October 01, 2016

Living stones and split rocks

Here's another set of unusual plants for you.

6 Lithops and 3 Pleiospilos nelii - 10/1/16

This planter is full of little succulents commonly known as living stones and split rocks, native to southern Africa.  They really do look like pebbles.  There are two types in here- the brownish ones (living stones) are Lithops (possibly hybrids?), and the three green ones (split rocks) are Pleiospilos nelii.

These are very interesting little plants.  The visible parts of the plant are the fleshy leaves- each "lobe" is one leaf.  They grow one new set of leaves each year, which push out from between the old pair.  A healthy Lithops only has one set of leaves at a time, and Pleiospilos (usually) carries two sets of leaves at a time, the current pair plus last year's.

Both usually flower in the fall.  Which leads me to this! One Pleiospilos has a bud forming!!

Pleiospilos nelii in bud!

I've had all these plants for a year, and they had already bloomed when I got them last fall.  So this is my first time to see any flowers, and I'm very excited.

For most of the year, these are pretty uneventful plants.  They just sit there looking like pebbles.  They get watered a couple times in the spring and a couple times in the fall, and that is literally all the water they get all year. I have watered this pot a total of three times since I got them in September 2015: once last September after I got them potted up, and twice last spring after their old sets of leaves were completely shriveled and gone.

You don't water at all when the new leaves are growing, because they pull the moisture out of the old pair of leaves as they grow.  It seems very counter-intuitive at first, to not water when the plant is visibly growing.  And you also don't water at all in the summer when the plant is dormant.

Cool plants, very unusual, and I like them.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

So these are a mix of strange and cool (never seen them before). But the creepy thing is that last picture reminds me a bit too much of Alien(s) and the birth pods. You can thank me later for linking your pretty plant to such disturbing imagery.