Archivo de la categoría: Lithops and Friends

Flora of Ganymede

jup III 1 Flora of Ganymede
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 822/4
jup III 2 Flora of Ganymede
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 822/117
jup III 3 Flora of Ganymede
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 835/1
jup III 4 Flora of Ganymede
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 877/209
jup III 5 Flora of Ganymede
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 878/22
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 1003/8
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora 1004/6
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 1004/6
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora 1004/9
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 1004/9
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 1005/11
starship endeavour Ganymede III-VII exoflora sol 1005/11


Trichodiadema densum

TrichodiademaA los tres meses han crecido muchos tallos laterales, con sus hojas y sus diademas. Como una mitad de los tallos se iba secando paulatinamente, los corté y usé como esquejes. Algunos han crecido muy bien, otros pedacitos se han secado. Al final, ninguno sobrevivió la sequía del verano.

Trichodiadema densum
Observar esta planta de cerca es una gozada. De lejos pasa completamente desapercibida. Cada diadema capta gotas de rocío durante la noche y las células llenas de agua brillan a la luz del sol.

Al formarse un nuevo par de hojas, las diademas salen primero, lisas y pegadas, con la base amarilla, que al madurar – y al expandirse los rayos de la diadema en todas las direcciones – se vuelve marrón claro. Cuando en vez de un nuevo par de hojas sale un pimpollo, aparecen las diademas de 5 o 6 hojas – las que formarán los sépalos del pimpollo –  a la vez. Ya voy buscando, ya. Su combinación de seis diademas debería delatarlo …

Trichodiadema densum 4: first bud
Y tuve que esperar todo un año – en marzo aparecieron las primeras ‘coronas de seis diademas’ – ¡las cosas de palacio van despacio!

Trichodiadema densum 5
Lo dicho – ¡van muy despacio! – y si el sol no se digna a salir ni siquiera a dar un poco de calor, las flores no se abren!

Trichodiadema densum bud 6
Eso si – la protección del incipiente capullo es buenísima. Aunque no son púas, sino pelos, que cuando están secos son bastante rígidos. Como su forma estrellada cubre las tres dimensiones no solo se ven muy vistosas, sino capaces de defender al jugoso pimpollo con su llamativos pétalos y estambres.


Trichodiadema densum 7

Trichodiadema densum 8

Trichodiadema densum 9

Trichodiadema densum 10: cápsula


Growing Friendship

three months later 1:Antimima argentea
Antimima argentea (Rooivlei) has already left the common playground, 106 days. Argyroderma congregatum
Argyroderma congregatum, Vredendal, preparing for the second pair of true leaves. 106 days old.three month later 3: oophytum
Oophytum nanum and Gibbaeum velutinum, both 102 days old.

three months later 4:Lithops coleorum
Lithops coleorum C396, Ellisras, near to their first moult. 109 days.

Fenestraria rhopalophylla ss. aurantiaca ‘Fireworth’; 104 days old.

three months later 6: Oophytum nanum
Oophytum nanum, Quaggaskop. The perfect egg-shape. 102 days.

three months later 7: Schwantesia
Schwantesia marlothii X ruedebuschii , 110 days old.

three months later 8:Aloinopsis malherbei
Aloinopsis malherbei, Calvinia. 110 days.

Three months later 9: Dicrocaulon
Dicrocaulon ramulosum, Riethuis. 104 days. And a little Schwantesia, just struggling to free the first pair of leaves.
three months later 10: Gibbaeum heathii
Gibbaeum heathii, 104 days old. Little fuzzy cuties.


Fast Growing Antimima

Growing a plant for the first time, and growing it from seed,  is always a kind of challenge. A quick look at the photographs you may find in the web leaves you with a first impression of what to expect. And it leaves you with the doubt how to verify the downright conflicting images. Photographs of plants growing in situ naturally show weathered plants. Growing plants under protection, different lighting and  watering  regimes, does change the appearance drastically. This is specially true for plants that go through some kind of winter or summer dormancy.
Antimima argentea 1
I sowed the winter-growing Antimima argentea end of october.  After four weeks the first pair of true leaves showed their tips, and now, fifty days later, the second pair of leaves can already be seen. Also, a red-dyed stalk raises the first pair of leaves, while from the cotyledons a first sidebranch makes its way. Compared to many other Aizoaceae, this is a rather quick growth.
Amtimima argentea 2
My seedlings are all growing in full winter sun, being protected only from strong dissecating winds and heavy rainfalls.
Fast growing Antimima argentea 3
At this stage I decided to give them a pot for themselves. Not for space but to allow the watering and feeding they will enjoy from now on.
fast growing 4: Antimima argentea
In mid February the plants look like this: still seedlings, but in all parts very green, lush and fragile. Not at all like the plants I expected.
Antimima argentea 5
Five months old, and already forming little mats.
Antimima argentea: 6 first buds
Not an April’s fool joke over here – the first buds are forming now – the plants are merely half a year old.
Antimima argentea 7: buds

Antimima argentea 8
The flowers a showy, but not big. 8th of may and the first two buds open – and lots more to come. It seems like Antimima argentea is a quick spreading little plant, easy to flower. At least under my conditions.
Antimima argentea: 9 seed pod
The seed pod looks like most of the family look, easily to identify as Mesembryanthemaceae, as it was formerly known.
fast growing Antimima argentea 10


Lithops’ companions

playmates: Antimima argentea
Antimima argentea (Rooivlei), first true leaves, 30 days.
playmates 2: Argyroderma congregatum
Argyroderma congregatum, Vredendal; 30 days.
companions oophytum 3
Oophytum nanum, Quaggaskop; 30 days.
I’m very happy about Lithops coleorum C396, Ellisras, germinating so eagerly.  Growing  this  plant  is  a  tribute  to  Naureen and Desmond Cole. 37 days old. Seeds from Mesa Garden.
playmates: fenestraria 5
Another one I’m eager to see grown up is Fenestraria rhopalophylla ssp. aurantiaca ‘Fireworth’. 38 days.
playmates: ophthalmophyllum dinteri 6
Ophthalmophyllum dinteri. Green, 43 days old eggs.
playmates 7 schwantesia
Schwantesia ruedebuschii ‘marlothii’, Aggeneys, which is supposed to have ‘stout red teeth’ does already show colour. 38 days.
playmates 8: Aloinopsis malherbei
Aloinopsis malherbei, Calvinia. Big, flat and dark. 56 days.
playmates 9: dicrocaulon
Dicrocaulon ramulosum, Riethuis. Already showing his water cells, growing along with Schwantesia. 46 days.
playmates 10: SPHAEROID
Closing the eleven, the first sphaeroid coming through is this Argyroderma congregatum, Vredendal. Smooth texture, milky sheen, linden coloured and a complete fissure, the first true leaves share one characteristic with the cotyledons: both sides are unequal. 50 days.


Yes, we are still there!

conophytum violaciflorum 1
Sown in february 2014, I  didn’t expect there were any living plants remaining in none of the pots I’d sown. Imagine my surprise when I saw these little bodies. And, oh dear, how tiny they are – you can even tell every cell of it!
Conophytum violaciflorum 2

yes we are: violaciflorum 3
Now that I’m aware of these little dumplings I intendedly left them sitting in the rain, over night they grew round and turgent.
still there: pink pepperkorn 4
Even with plenty of water, this Conophytum does not reach the dimensions of a pink peppercorn.
still there: violaciflorum 5
A few weeks later. I found a tiny moss near the stairs, added a bit of fine gravel, for the roots where far to exposed, and gave regular mistings when there was no rain. Both bodies have grown and left their old shells behind. Wintertime I learned, is conophytumtime.

Is there still no life on mars?

If there ever has been life on Mars – or even if there still is life (which to me sounds more likely) – it cannot be weirder than our own aliens.
weird anacampseros 1
Anacampseros namaquensis  buds bend down after each flowering, that is, they look like buds, but are not, they have just flowered their short two-and-a-half-hours-flowering, close tight as a bud and bend until being perfectly horizontal.
19 days later they make a second move. And again 90º until pointing into the zenith. This is when you know that you must be all attention. The next day, if weather is warm and dry, there takes place a bizarre show for those who watch closely.
anacampseros weird
Both sepals tear off from the base of the flower. They shrivel considerably, taking with them the gauzy petals that look as if pressed for a 3D-herbarium.
weird anacampseros 4
See both scars, the inferior, where the sepals inserted and the superior, with some fibres left, marks the abscission for the petals. You can see the green capsule – well, as green as there can be green on Mars – and take a good look, for it won’t remain long like this. In fact, the ‘veins’ you see will be the remaining latticework. Focus on the small notches at the base of the capsule…
weird anacampseros 5
…where the first tear slit appears. The outer tissue of the capsule will gradually open like an inverted flower.
weird anacampseros 6
Eventually, a martian gust of wind, and the whole hat flies away.
weird anacampseros 7
After a few hours all that remains is a filigran skeleton container, an inner layer of epidermis and, of course, the reason for all this effort: the seeds. The baskets look like being ‘half-filled’ and contain approximately 75 sculptured seeds. 
weird anacampseros 8
Instead of drilling holes in martian debris, rover Curiosity should use one of its cameras to focus on tiny remnants of life like Anacapseros hats. Look at that landscape – sure they grow out there somewhere!

Though it could be that Mars has never seen something as extra-martian as an Anacampseros seed capsule.
sol 719
I’d love to beam a basketful of fresh Anacampseros seeds up to Aeolis Mons; but I’m afraid that would be considered adulteration of local flora.
anacampseros samen 10


Be sure to wear some flowers in your Hair

Anancampseros 1Anacampseros, possibly Anacampseros filamentosa or namaquensis or some look-alike. And no need to go as far as San Francisco. Found this at our local hardware center.  Surprise!

Anacampseros 2Anacampseros 3As late as 17:34 the first bud shows a stunning colour.

anacampseros 4And at 18:15 the flower is open!

Anacampseros 5anacampseros 6anacampseros 719:42; already closing.

anacampseros 8Every other day there are one or two flowers opening late and flowering shortly for two hours or so, closing quickly and as tight as the bud was. Just sometimes a little part of one of the petals is tucked in between the two sepals – one of the defining characterisitcs of the portulacaceae family: two sepals and 5 petals – revealing that this ‘bud’ has already flowered.

Anacampseros 10None of them has dropped until now. So, with a bit of luck I’ll get a few seeds from this first flowering! But one thing for sure: if you really plan to wear some flowers in your hair, you’d better choose some more hard-wearing flower than Anacampseros!

Anacampseros ultima

If you’re going to San Francisco
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
if you’re going to San Francisco
you’re gonna meet some gentle people there
for those who come to San Francisco
summertime will be a love-in there
in the streets of San Francisco
gentle people with flowers in their hair


Frithia pulchra seedlings

The first glimpse of a new seedling, Frithia pulchra, tiny and green.

Frithia pulchra 1 day

This one has been three days exposed to light and sun:

Frithia seedling

And this one is  about six  weeks old now: the first leaf – a single leaf – growing.

Frithia pulchra seedling 4

Growing under the shadow of  Cymbalaria muralis.

Frithia a la sombraWith the right light, you can even make out the window on top of the fairy elephants toe.

Frithia seedling windowAnd quite hapily they keep on growing – and they obviously prefer shade.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrithia seedlingsFrithia growing happily amoung smiling Lithops lesliei and L. bromfieldii.
frithia seedlings 8

Die Freuden der Sonne auf 28º nördlicher Breite


Frithia pulchra

So kam meine erste Frithia pulchra anfang Februar an, grün, straff,  winterlich verwöhnt … und so sieht sie jetzt aus:

Frithia pulchra

Frithia pimpollo

Frithia pulchra

Die Farbe ist hübsch, die Knospe (n) machen Spass, aber die ganze Pflanze ist weich und die Aussichten sind garnicht glücklich.


Keine zwei Tage später. Nun ist es passiert – fast über Nacht; kompletter Kollaps der Pflanze.  Mit Zimt bestäubt, kein Wasser mehr. Schade um die Knospen, schade um die Pflanze.

Frithia collapse two

Diese beiden Blätter leben aber noch…

Frithia pulchra sämling

Die ersten Sämlinge sind schon dabei, das erste – unpaare – Blatt zu schieben. Fein. Wieder warten auf die nächste Blüte!