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?
Problem solved! The average green garden pea is 9mm. I’d have given it far less than nearly 1 cm!
And this is Lithops hookeri ssp. subfenestrata ‘brunneoviolacea’. Five month old.
Two and a half years old: Lithops pseudotruncatella ssp. groendrayensis
Both Lithops lesliei ssp. venteri ‘Maraisi’ , sown November 2013, are now five months old.
And the jewel loaded Lithops verruculosa var. verruculosae ‘Inae’ is a year and a half.
I ignore how old these four may be, as they flowered last autumn, they are adults altogether : Lithops lesliei ‘Albinica’.
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:
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.
One never knows how a little Lithops may look after hatching. For it is a hatch when the cotyledon slowly dries up and just a papery shell reminds you of the first stage of the little Lithops‘ life. While the window in the cotyledon opens, you get a first idea of the colour the primary pair of true leaves will show. And if you are lucky, there will be a little jewel growing.
While most of the adult Lithops have a distinct pattern, the youngsters may play on the gay side. This one seems to mimick with a little peace of seramis!
The same little L. bromfieldii a fortnight later. The empty seed still strongly attached to the completely dry cotyledon.
You see the colour? This makes a lithops-grower feel happy!
This is my awesome little orange Lithops bromfieldii – 122 days old and 0,8cm ‘big’. – Lets see how the colour changes with time and with the next pair of leaves.
Lithops optica ‘Rubra’ C81 A, February 2014
Lithops optica ‘Rubra’ C81 A, March 2014
Lithops optica ‘Rubra’ C81 A, April 2014
And the year ended in August 2014 for all Lithops optica ‘Rubra’.
Though in shadow, the heat from above and the isopods from
beneath did their work. The gardener helped, too, with a drink or two. It was quick, four days, and all that was left was dry and empty.
Little tiny weeds they are! Sown last day of december 2013, the first Lithops dorotheae C300 germinated two weeks later finding their way between big boulders of volcanic gravel. Still so green and delicate.
Six months now, most hatchlings still keep their sun protection. Many have succumbed to summer dryness, from some twentyandsomething there still are living fourteen. At this stage they look very alike to seedlings of L. dinteri, so it is a good advice to keep them apart when sowing.