Archivo de la etiqueta: aucampiae

New growth

lush lithops 1
Lithops julii fulleri C162 A

lush lithops 2
You can almost hear the sound of the jelly cracking this morning! A few hours later the new body of Lithops lesliei venteri ‘maraisi’ C153  is almost there. The sun shining through the transparent walls of the crack reveals the red dots you couldn’t see ever before nor in the newly formed leaves.

Lush lithops 3

lush lithops 3:hallii
Lithops hallii C119.

lush lithops 4: hookeri brunneoviolaceaLithops hookeri subfenestrata ‘brunneoviolacea’ C019.

lush lithops 6: Lithops julii brunnea
Lithops julii brunnea C179. The windows are almost green this one, a very nice one to my biased eye.

lush Lithops 7: Lithops fulviceps
Lithops fulviceps, C266.

lush Lithops 8: Lithops hookeri
Lithops hookeri subfenestrata ‘brunneoviolacea’ C019.

Lush lithops 9: L. aucampiae
Another one that split open: Lithops aucampiae C333. At a closer look you can see that the ‘jelly’ is actually green in this species: chlorophyll containing cells all over the sides of the leaves. And not the hint of green can be seen from outside!

lush lithops 10: Lithops C179
Lithops julii brunnea C179: The new face looks quite different from the old one. The grey, almost blue windows with ocre islands and the strong lateral markings are very distinctive.

Λ

Anuncios

Noid again

If you don’t have a specialized nursery nearby, the plants you buy usually come without a name, even if they have a tag with a generic label – e.g. ‘succulent’ – . Some plants are fairly easy to identify, others not. Fortunately the genus Lithops is easy to recognise and the most similar looking species which do not belong to Lithops aren’t easy to find and unlikely will ever make their way into a DIY-store. Within  Lithops  only a few  species  seem  to be available at one time in retail,  though that may vary from place to place. For months I’ve seen L. salicola and L. lesliei albinica for sale – any other. Until these two here appeared at the shelf, and they are neither one of those. For obvious reasons I prefer to buy named species or varieties, but in this case, the brick-red colour and the size did it.
noid again 1: lithops aucampiae
Both plants came in tiny two inch pots, in peat moss. So the first task was to undo the mess and take the opportunity to have a closer look at the roots and possible mealies. Roots looked right, and all seems healthy. Peat moss will work while raising plants in a nursery, pushing them with N-high fertilizer till selling size. But in the long term plain peat moss will cause rot, so these two will have to accomodate to a more mineral substrate, with little organic fibres added, high drainage and much deeper pots. The un-rooted view even gives a hint for identifying the species. As most Lithops grown under strong light are just surfacing the substrate, you look only at a minor part of the plant. The body of these two have a short cone shape, rather compressed, the colour is an intense grey with a purple hue. For the size of the ‘faces’ – 31,5 x 27,5mm –  the body is quite small.
noid again, 2 Lithops aucampiae
The fissure that marks the limits between both pairs of leaves, is only half of the width of each face. As all adult Lithops have, as far as I now, complete fissures, running over the whole top, even if this gap doesn’t open, these two plants, which seem adults for their sheer size, must be still immature. The upper surface, with the ‘grooves’ and the ‘isles’, the ‘channels’ and the ‘rubrications’ the ‘dusky spots’ and the open or occluded ‘windows’ are the main characteristics to identify a Lithops without a flower and a seed pod.
noid again 3 Lithops aucampiae
After two days in the desert sun – well, its only a solstice sun, and the humidity is around 45%, due to sand loaded winter-winds from the nearby Sahara desert – there is a change in appearance. And as I dont’t know how long these young plants have been dwelling without real light on a bottom shelf, I will be careful if this sunny spell continues. There are new wrinkles, the surface isn’t smooth any more, the channels have deepened in colour and they seem to end in dots.
noid again, 4 Lithops aucampiae
To me this two look like a brick-red variant of Lithops aucampiae var koelemanii. But they should be viewed by a Lithops specialist, to verify this attribution. How to contact a specialist in Lithops? The easy way is posting a photograph of the plant in question in a specialized forum, fortunately there are many, so you can choose. After a while you’ll discern the real cracks from those that just answer to every question…
Noid again 5: aucampiae koelemanii
I couldn’t refrain from buying a third – and last – one when I saw it. Immature, too, we’ll have to wait to the next or the other ‘mould’ to see how the Lithops develope their real shape and size – yes, they could even downsize – under well lit conditions outdoors. By the way – the score is 5:3 favouring L. aucampiae over L. hookeri right now!noid again 6: preparing
Mid february, all three are preparing their new leaves inside.

playing in the sandbox

nine months 1
Lithops terricolor peersii C131
nine months 2
Lithops julii fulleri brunnea C179
nine months 3
Lithops hookeri brunneoviolacea C019, Lithops otzeniana C280, Lithops lesliei C020,
nine months 4
Lithops julii fulleri C162A
sandbox 5
Lithops lesliei venteri maraisii C153 and L. julii fulleri C162A
sandbox 6
Frithia pulchra playing with Lithops bromfieldii C348 and L. lesliei C020; Olifantenzeh und Kussmund.
sandbox 7
Lithops julii fulleri brunnea, C 179.
sandbos 8
Lithops dinteri C206.
sandbox 9
Lithops verruculosa C129 and L. julii fulleri C162A
sandbox 10
Lithops aucampiae C333.

Λ

Sowing Lithops in Summer

sowing II 1

Lithops karasmontana bella, C295. The first six seeds germinated already three days after sowing. Two weeks days later 14 seedlings have survived from 17 hatched.

Sowing II 2

Lithops karasmontana, Signalberg form, LC65A. Also a quickly germinating species. Two hatchlings at the third day. A fortnight later from 15 hatchlings  thirteen havesurvived.

Sowing II 3

Lithops bromfieldii mennellii, C283. At day three, two bromfieldii had hatched; two weeks later, without any loss, there are eleven hatchlings.

sowing II 4

Lithops dorotheae, C300. The first solitary seedling appeared the 5th day after sowing. Now, at day 17, there are six hatchlings.

sowing II 5

Lithops dorotheae, C124. Like his brother, first seedling at fifth day and seven up to now.

ssowing II 6

Lithops villetii ssp. deboeri, C231. Tiny and elongated, though growing with the same strong light as all other seedlings. The first five deboeri appeared at the fifth day and on day 19 there are ten seedlings.

sowing II 7

Lithops aucampiae koelemanii, C256. Fat, mushroom-like from a beginning, the first two germinated the forth day and the little, clear one, was one of them. There were twelve seedlings, remaining only five becuase of – presumably – fungus gnats.

sowing II 8

Lithops lesliei rubrobrunnea, C204. Big seeds that did not germinate in the first two weeks. The first one ap300peared at day seventeen, and two days later there are three cotyledons, flat with a distinct rim.

sowing II 9

An other slow and erratic breeder, C350, Lithops otzeniana. The first seedlings appeared the sixth day and now there are four, two have succumbed. A pity, for L. otzeniana  is one of my green favourites.

Sowing Lithops in Summer

sowing in summer 1The substrate is prepared. 80% volcanic lapilli, bigger chunks in the bottom and finer graduation towards the top, mixed with coconut fibres and a bit of fine silicate sand.  Most of the organic part in the upper 5 cm.
The planter is 39x17x14cm, big enough for a few Lithops and hopefully two to three years of happy growing. There are some evident advantages using a planter versus a single pot. They are easier to care after, they keep the moisture a bit longer – which is good for seedlings – and they save space.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs most of you will have recognised the seeds  are from Cono’s Paradise. There are plenty of seeds in every seed package, I’ll just use a part of them for this summer enterprise. Germinating Lithops is generally  very rewarding, Lithops seeds hatch in nearly every substrate, organic, mineral, cotton, paper, petri dish… older seed is said to have a higher rate than recently harvested seeds. There is some difference in size between different species of Lithops, but as a rule most of good quality seed will hatch in a few days. Be careful when sowing, if you want to avoid crowding and don’t cover the seed.

summer sowing 3Sow the seed  with the help of a toothpick upon the wet surface of the substrate. Just trickle a few seeds out of the seed package into a china cup, and with the wettened tip of a wooden toothpick you just pick one seed after the other and place them gently and evenly spaced – well, more or less – on the surface of the substrate. It is easy, believe me: I’ve done so with 19 seeds of each of the 16 Lithops species I’ve sown. It took a little bit more than half an hour.  This little effort in the beginning will be rewarding in the future. Spray gently after sowing and cover with a plastic wrapper.

Summer 4Identify each row with the Cole Number or the full name of your Lithops seeds, date of sowing (the more information you may want to add, the better) and add some long but narrow plastic stripes (say from a bottle) as separators, preferably bevor sowing. The plastic stripes will also prevent the plastic wrapper, which will soon get wet from inside, to lay down on the substrate and suffocate the freshly hatched plantlets.
Place the wrapped box out of sun in a bright place.
If you are lucky, in two to three days you may see something.

summer sowing 5The temperatures I have to deal with now – and I want to sow now – are 28º/22ºC. There has been written a lot about the pros and cons of higher or lower tº when sowing Lithops; I’m not going to add.
The only viable alternative would be waiting until next winter. And this doesn’t help fighting the Lithops addiction, does it?

summer sowing 6Yesterday, three days after sowing, the first movement was there to see, today there are seventeen little new Lithops at home!  They deserve to be named, for being the speediest:
Eight Lithops karasmontana;
Two Lithops bromfieldii mennellii; the first one to be photographed!
Three Lithops otzeniana;
Two Lithops aucampiae koelemanii; and
one Lithops schwantesii and L. olivacea nebrownii .

Summer sowing 7August, 5th.  50 Lithops hatched meanwhile.  Nearly all species sown have germinated and,  strange enough, the Lithops with the biggest seeds – C204 Lithops lesliei rubrobrunnea –  still don’t.  The little one in the image – Lithops aucampiae koelemanii – shows what I like seedlings to look like: a short body, a long root and already a bit of colour. With real bright light Lithops grow like this. Etiolated seedlings are prone to diseases.

summer sowing 8Still August 5th, by the afternoon 66 seeds have germinated already – C204 still not there! – and I water again. With a gentle spray you can water as much and as often as you like, this type of substrate will never be waterlogged and soggy. Excess of water just pours out. Spraying once or twice a day keeps the seed wet. The seed clings firmly to the surface of the susbstrate and once sprouted, the empty ‘shell’ will keep securely attached to most of the young cotyledons for many weeks: I’ve never found the seed being washed away, even the tiniest stay in place.
Never forget to protect the planter again with plastic wrapper.

summer sowing 9August, 8th.  Seven days after sowing 100 seedings gather in the planter, which is roughly one third of all seeds sown. Only one species, Lithops lesliei rubrobrunnea shows no growing at all. Big  seeds are just big seeds. There is no need to hurry. The image shows Lithops aucampiae C256, already ‘big’ and flat, which becomes evident in comparison to the next photograph.
There have been losses as well. Just a few minutes, a cloud moving and sun heating the little space between plastic wrapper and substrate surface is all it needs for a quick damping off: the seedlings are simply cooked. This way I have already lost 15 little Lithops. Sorry guys.  I promise to take care, hoovering a bit more on cloudy days. Never trust the summer sun. Nor the summer clouds.

summer sowing 10Extremely diminute, Lithops villettii deboerii C231, this species seems vigorous and strong and is, together with the two karasmontana, one of the best in terms of germination rate.
Definitedly, the first week after sowing Lithops in summer proofs that sowing Lithops in summer, is perfectly possible. And a good way to fight addiction: two days unattended and I lost them all.

Yes, I knew.  It’s better at my place to sow in autumn and winter. Been there, done so. Never going to bump into it again.

α

 

The first leaves in the life of different Lithops species – a comparison

Lithops generally are easy to germinate. Most seeds, if not to fresh, will sprout in a few days, and there will be germinations many weeks later, too.

The embryo quickly forms a body, consisting of the two cotyledons or seed leaves and a tiny tap root.

At this stage, all you see is very green and extremely frail. Two green tips and a fissure in the middle – one millimeter all in all.

green cotyledon

The fine gravel looks like big boulders but soon the young plant will be able to push its way up to more light and sun. The tiny plant  changes quickly into the caracteristic shape of its species – a flat cotyledon like e.g. in L. lesliei or L. aucampiae, or barrel-shaped as for instance in L. bromfieldii. One other characteristic is the length of the tiny fissure, where the two fused cotyledons leave a gap for the next pair of leaves to emerge – the first true pair of leaves of the young Lithops plant.

terricolor 200 1Terricolor 85d 200terri 108d 200

left: 39 days old; right: 85 days old; bottom: 108 days old

 Lithops terricolor ‘peersii’ C131 has an apple-shaped cotyledon with short fissure. The hatchling changes  into a loaf-of-bread-like  shape with a short fissure.

verruculosa 39dverruculosa 51dverruculosa 170d

left: 39 days old; right: 51 days old, bottom: 170 days old

Lithops verruculosa var. verruculosa C129 has little, reddish-grey, barrel-shaped cotyledons with long fissure and a distinct pair of first leaves . The fissure extends over the whole face, bordered with ruby-red verruculae.

pseudotruncatella 36 dayspseudotruncatella 47dpseudotruncaella 176d

left: 36days old; right: 47days old; bottom:176 days old

Lithops pseudotruncatella ‘alpina’ C068 quickly forms ruby red, tiny barrel-shaped bodies. The colour fades to a dull greenish brown just until the first true leaves appear. The little plant is 2 – 4 mm wide. Very short fissure, hardly visible.

otzeniana 39dotzeniana 86dotzeniana 170d

left: 39days old; right: 86 days old; bottom: 170days old

Lithops otzeniana C280 does not germinate as readily. The young cotyledon-bodies are green with a red hue and apple-shaped. The fissure runs through 3/4 of the surface. While the first pair of leaves appear, the cotyedons persist and split deeply. The fissure of the newly formed body runs from side to side.

lesliei maraisiilesliei maraisii 86dlesliei maraisii 103d

left: 14days old; right: 86 days old; bottom: 103 days old

 The cotyledons of Lithops lesliei ‘Maraisii’ C 153 form a flat elliptic body, shiny, grey with a lilac hue, and a small central fissure. The first true pair of leaves resemble the adult Lithops and have a short, reddish fissure.

julii brunnea 39djulii brunnea 98djulii brunnea 138d

left: 39days old; right: 98 days old; bottom: 138 days old

Lithops julii brunnea C179 has green or dull coloured, barrel-shaped bodies,  with a long fissure that nearly runs from side to side. The emerging Lithops looks like the adult and has a complete fissure.

hookeri subfenestrata brunneoviolaceaHookeri subfenestrata brunneociolacea

left: 126 days old; right: 175 days old

Lithops hookeri var. subfenestrata ‘brunneoviolacea’ C019 makes fairly big, flat-topped, barrel-shaped cotyledons, reddish and dark, with short fissures. Just before hatching the cotyledons fade to a dull beige. The emerging colourful body is flat,  with a short fissure that sometimes runs over half or more of the surface.

hallii hallii 86 dayshallii hallii 138 days

left: 86 days old; right: 138 days old

Medium dark grey cotyledons are characteristic of Lithops hallii C119, shiny and flat, with a strong and long fissure over rhe whole face of the body. The first true leaves display a new colour, and a complete fissure.

julii fulleriJulii fulleri 170 days

left: 39 days old; right: 170 days old

A very distinct first pair of leaves emerge from small and inconspicuous cotyledons.  The cotyledons of Lithops julii var. fulleri C162A are round and dull coloured, the fissure is long. The new body formed by the two true leaves rises high above the slowly drying cotyledon, with a complete fissure and the fully visible grey conus of the typical Lithops. These plants have recieved the same amount of light and sun as all those previously shown!

aumpiae cotyaucampiae hatchling

both plants are 175 days old!

Lithops aucampiae C333 do their own thing. While some hatch and grow, others still await looking at the outside world. Flat, shiny cotyledons, barrel-shaped with a distinct concave face with a rim, grey or reddish, always dark, short fissure. The new pair of leaves form a nearly round, textured body, with a short fissure.

L. lesliei lesliei 'luteoviridis'Lesliei luteoviridis 173d

left: 86days old; right: 173 days old

Lithops lesliei lesliei ‘luteoviridis’  has flat, elliptic, rimmed cotyledons. The fissure is half the length of the smaller diameter. The first leaves look like a small Lithops luteoviridis; with a short fissure, as in all lesliei- seedlings I’ve seen.