Saturday, July 11, 2015

Newcomers - Lithops (13 pics)

Firstly, I'd like to introduce the new lithops I got from Klaus Ingenwepelt. I bought a couple of plants of each kind so there are actually more plants than the photos below and they are still in their original pots and substrates. Normally, lithops have it more cozier at my place, growing in groups of at least two in one container. But I'm generous with room these days and it can wait.
I was not very successful buying adult white-flowering lithops before but I think I have more experience now so I decided to get mostly hallii, karasmontana and julii this time, knowing that they were grown perfectly shaped which will give them a good start on my windowsill. They all have nice and sharp patterns and the best size. Even the aucampiae, that tend to grow huge in commercial nurseries, are so wonderfully small and round. This is definitely the goal for us hobby growers :)

Among the yellow-flowering lithops I really liked L. hookeri v. lutea and would have bought several but there was only one plant left. It has a nice dark color, in contrast with the usual light-green or orange.

And this strange guy is a Conophytum verrucosum, the only cono I can show you as all the others I bought look like the C. ectypum ssp sulcatum below. Photos will follow in the fall.

I'll post the pictures of other mesembs soon, too.


  1. Hello Rika,

    Thanks as always for the blog update. Of course, I like ALL lithops, but my favorites of your new acquisitions are Lithops aucampiae 'Storms Snowcap' and L. hallii (Wonderdraai). I like the chocolate coloration and dark windows of the L. aucampiae. These will look very nice with the contrasting bright, white flowers. I also have a bias toward 'Storms Snowcap' because I was given two plants in 1984 by Ed Storms when I visited his nursery in Ft. Worth, Texas. Unfortunately, both are gone. I think they were casualties of the 2022 tornado that came through our yard.

    I like the L. hallii (Wonderdraai) because of the fine, nicely delineated, and dark, channels, and the nice, smooth margins. I'm not familiar with the (Wonderdraai) part of the name. Is this a location from which the original plants, or seed, was collected? The L. hallii var. ochracea plants are nice but I tend to favor the lithops with the darker colors, less so by the opaque colors. Your plants are quite reddish, which is nice. Do you believe individual lithops change color based on their growing conditions? I know they can change shape and form, but I've always wondered about color.

    I've never quite understood the variety name lutea for hookeri. Lutea means yellow, and there really nothing yellow about the variety. I believe the variety name was given to the plants by the Dutch grower de Boer.

    As you know I know nothing much about Conophytums, but C. verrucosum is cute. Sort of like a little lithops. :) Isn't conos suppose to be dormant now? Is this was late going dormant, or very early coming out of dormancy? I hope Conophytum ectypum ssp. sulcatum will be pretty, but you can't tell much about it now. :D

    Nice new additions to an already superb collection. Hopefully this autumn will be a very nice flowering season for your lithops collection. I look forward to it.

    If you don't mind me asking, how much did the individual lithops plants cost? Here in the US you can buy flowering age lithops for approximately $2.00 to $4.00 each depending on the nursery.

    1. Hi Bob :)
      And thank YOU for your insightful comments as usual!

      Well, I like all of them (go figure!) :D
      I'm hopeful in regards to the Storm's Snowcap, because the plants are quite small for aucampiae and should grow fine on the windowsill. Bringing them to flower is a different story, I guess. Even though they still might have the flowering energy from the greenhouse they were previously living in, but I'm talking of the years to come. Very pretty though, with or without flowers.

      I like hallii, too. I had two plants, one of which has dies this winter. So it was time to get more and see how they'll do. The find net of lines and the flatness of the plants is what I like most about them. I think the names in brackets are the initial location. The grower told me he was buying seed capsules directly from SA before, even though he has so many plants now he does not buy seeds at all anymore. I am referring to the names that are on the labels.

      From what I've experienced so far the color (and even the patterns to some extent) indeed depend on the conditions. All grown plants that I bought as green-ish or blue-ish or pale in any way have turned out more red and yellow and pink after a year on the windowsill. All my lithops tend to the warm colors. Sulphureas are more yellow than green here. Remember this? Green when bought, yellow after 2 months in the sun -->

      I don't know about the lutea, too. I imagined it to be quite different myself, paler. Maybe this plant is an exception or a mix-up.

      C. verrucosum is a cutie indeed :) And I do think it is just a bit early. Should be fine though. I'm going to start watering all the Conos within the next couple of weeks. This is when I'll first see how they look like! Also, I'd love to take some time lapse pictures to capture the awakening. I've already started watering one pot as a test (I remember those plants already green same time last year). Also, I wanted to repot them before starting to water.

      The thing is, Klaus Ingenwepelt grows his plants in a different kind of substrate. It is a more heavy mix that allows much less watering. He even says he tried pure pumice once but had to water much too often, which is too bothersome in a greenhouse with many plants. In my case frequent watering is not a problem but overwatering is. That's why pure pumice is perfect. If I start growing his plants in his soil mix I'm afraid I won't manage the waterings that well. So better to repot the plants in a substrate I can handle well. I did the same with the Conos I bought from him last year and they were and are happy with it.

      The lithops cost a lot here normally. Kakteen Haage wants 4,50€ for one plant with a cole number. Cono's Paradise is at 2,50€ for a 3-year-old and 4,00€ for two-headed with a cole number. Prices on ebay are bonkers!
      Compared to this the prices in Essen were nothing. Especially by the quality of plants! Klaus Ingenwepelt was selling his beautifully grown plants for 1,50€ each and was even giving a discount. No wonder I got 2 boxes!!