Archivo de la etiqueta: lesliei

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.

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one year old lithops

first birthday Lithops bromfieldii 1
Pretty turgent and apparently smirking with satisfaction, Lithops bromfieldii C348 .
first birthday Lithops dinteri 2
With joyful red dots, Lithops dinteri C206.
first birtday Lithops pseudotruncatella 3
Very different size shows Lithops pseudotruncatella (alpina) C068 after one year growing  together.
first bierthday lithops terricolor 4
The last one to germinate, Lithops terricolor ‘peersi’ C131 are now  the biggest of all seedlings.
first birthday Lithops hookeri 5
Lithops hookeri subfenestratabrunneoviolacea‘ C019 has been by far the most prolific and vigorous of all species sown.
first birthday lithops lesliei venteri maraisii 5
First to hatch, these Lithops lesliei venteri ‘maraisii’ C153 are not the biggest after their first year.
first birthday lithops hallii 7
Germinated very plentyfull, most Lithops hallii C119 died during a hot spell in midsummer in an intruiging sudden death episode. Only a few remained.
first birthday Lithops lesliei luteoviridis 8
Lithops lesliei luteoviridis C020, compact and greenish/yellowish over a grey body.
first birthday lithops julii brunnea 9
Lithops julii brunnea C179 has largely grown in the shadow of a tolerated weed, Conyza bonariensis, and does seem to like it.
first birthday lithops verruculosa 10
Also this one suffered much in summer, Lithops verruculosa C129, two of the few remaining seedlings.

Happy birthday to you all!

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.

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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.

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New Bighead

ImagenFour flowers and five new heads. Lithops lesliei ‘albinica’ is a slow growing Lithops. It might be because of the seed capsules, but they look real tiny, don’t know if there will be any viable seed.

I bought this  clump while  in flower  several month ago and always thought it to be four plants tightly grown together in a little pot – a reason I usually do not like to buy plants in large shopping centres is that plants there are handled as disposable articles – and after flowering I planted it just as it came out of the pot in a big planter outside. Lithops lesliei does well with our winter rain regime, but it came clear, that it would not be a good idea to place other Lithops species near to it.

It survived the bill of a blackbird, heavy rainfall and a lot of neglect. Now I decided it was time to plant it back to a new pot, like most of the other Lithops have, and to remove the old substrate, plain peat.

lesliei 2I planned to plant two pots, but to my big surprise, there weren’t four plants, but just one: a five-headed, well grown Lithops lesliei ‘albinica’! Now I understand why the seedpods are empty of seeds and if I ever want seeds from this nice cultivar, I should try  to get a second one!

lesliei 3After cleaning  most of the peat, I planted the new ‘star of the collection’  into its new home. Suddenly with much more esteem, the sales plant turned out to be the worthiest of all.

Lesliei 4

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.

How big is big?

¿Qué tamaño tiene un guisante?

How big is big?

Take your time: How big is a pea? Be honest now, before you count the millimeter  divisions, how big would you guess is a pea? And is a pea bigger or lesser than a one year old Lithops?

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                 Problem solved! The average green garden pea is 9mm.            I’d have given it far less than nearly 1 cm!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis little fellow – Lithops karasmontana ‘Top Red’ –  is 18 month old.

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And this is Lithops hookeri ssp. subfenestrata ‘brunneoviolacea’. Five month old.

pseudotruncatella groendrayensis

Two and a half years old: Lithops pseudotruncatella ssp. groendrayensis

lesliei venteri maraisi

 Both Lithops lesliei ssp. venteri ‘Maraisi’ , sown November 2013, are now  five months old.

verruculosae inae

And the jewel loaded Lithops verruculosa var. verruculosae ‘Inae’  is a year and a half.

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I ignore how old these four may  be, as they flowered last autumn,    they are adults altogether :  Lithops lesliei ‘Albinica’.

pseudotruncatella aplina

These three – you spot them? – are 5 month old.  Lithops pseudotruncatella ‘alpina’.

Well then. Let’s see if a pea is a good criterion for the size of Lithops. Here we go:

karamontana and peahookeri and peagroendray and peamaraisii and peainae and peaYou  already imagine how  it  will look like for the tiny pseudotruncatella, don’t you?albinica and peapseudotruncatella and peaFive 6 months old Lithops pseudotruncatella ‘alpina’ C068 together are smaller than a 0,9cm pea.

These plants have germinated in full sun at 28º N latitude (which is pretty near to their S latitude procedence btw) and they have all the pigments they need for protection. What they (still) don’t have is a volumen that helps them to survive in dry and hot atmospheric conditions. Make the experiment: place a pea in the sun and watch.

You won’t have to wait long!

So, please, in summer and whenever it is hot and dry – bury your little treasures or give them shade.

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