Sunday, August 21, 2016

Some flowers (10 pics)

My lithops are usually quick to show flower buds but there's still nothing, not even a hint. I doubt I'll see any flowers this year, there has been very little sunlight and warmth for that. But at least some of the other plants don't mind. There have been several conophytum flowers and there are new buds visible.

Conophytum fulleri 

Conophytum pellucidum ssp. cupreatum v. terrestre

Conophytum angelicae ssp. tetragonum

Conophytum uviforme ssp. decoratum

Avonia albissima multiramosa has been flowering, or rather producing seed pods as I'm pretty sure the flowers do not open. I might have missed them but, really, I've never ever seen them open in my life. It always goes from bud to seed pod.

Funny thing is that the branches are normally lying flat on the ground, but when the seed pods are almost ripe they get pushed up and the branches suddenly lift into upright position, just for a day or so. I wonder what is happening there chemically that makes them do that.

The seeds are all viable and I've been sowing them a lot over the last couple of years. They germinate perfectly but then grow so slowly they die before they can gain any weight. I currently have several seedlings but it looks like only one of them is going to survive. It took it 2 years to get to this size. FML.

Anacampseros namaquensis (An17) has grown one flower only with much effort this year. As most Anacampseros flowers are pale rose-white I was really looking forward to this bright pink flower. But it never opened. Hope it has at least produced some seeds. I really like this plant.

Ah, and this young Avonia quinaria ssp. quinaria has opened both its flowers this weekend! Here is one of them.


  1. Nice pics. where did you get the avonia quinaria? I'm trying to find but no luck

    1. Thanks :)
      Norbert from Atomic Plant Nursery might have some plants. I don’t think he will ship outside the EU though.

  2. Thanks for the info, he doesn't have information on the atomic page regarding this avonias in particular, but I send I'm an email, maybe I'll have luck. Keep the good work and keep posting the pics and info.

  3. All flowers are very beautiful. Conophytum fulleri is favorite for me. All these lithops are colorful. I think some of them are rare species. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hello Rika. Sorry I'm very late on commenting here but I wanted to do a bit of research on Avonias concerning their flowering habits. I believe I had reported via twitter than Avonias were self pollinating but not cleistogamous. Well, that is not correct. Although Avonia papyracea and Avonia albissima are self pollinating they also produce flowers that are cleistogamous (flowers that do not open but self pollinate and produce fruit and seeds). When I grew A. papyracea it always produced open flowers but they may have been due to the very open, sunny conditions I grew them in. Apparently, when grown under lower light conditions, non opening flowers are more common. Of course my never noticing fruit production without open flowers may also have been due to my lack of attention to my plants. I'm often envious of your attention concerning your plants. I probably miss a lot of things you never miss.

    I don't have an answer as to why the Avonia altissima stems sometimes grow along the ground and other times grow more vertical. They are often described as having this type of habit, usually written as "branches spreading or erect". I'm not sure what controls the orientation of the branches of Avonia but in general it's the amount of water in the plant and the turgor of the cells in the stems. The cells swell somewhat when more water is present, causing the stems to go erect, and become more flaccid as the turgor relaxes. I have no idea however if this is what is happening in Avonia.

    Perhaps the raising of the branches with seed pods is connected somehow to dispersal of the seed. This could occur if some animal was eating the fruit, or could just be because seed spilling out of the raised fruit would scatter more than if the fruiting stems were flat on the ground. Fun questions to ponder.

    I always enjoy your blog and the pictures and information within the articles. Your commentary and ideas always make me think, and that's a very good thing. I wish I was growing a few Avonias at the moment, but maybe in the future. Take care and please continue sharing your wonderful plants, and your ideas with us. :D

    1. Thank you for your comment Bob. As you see I'm slow with replying, too. I've been a bit busy with work, but mostly busy with thoughts in my head. It's getting better though.

      Avonias are indeed interesting and so neglected in the literature. I have a very thin older booklet on them to consult but it's better than nothing. There was nothing about the branches there. Maybe it really has not been studied yet. After all you have to have a whole plantation of Avonias to study them properly.

      Hey, if you want to grow more Avonias I do have lots and lots of fresh seeds of the above plant ;) It produces seed pods like crazy but none of the flowers ever open. Sometimes I see the tip of yellow (!) petals. Otherwise they are shut tight all the time.

      I'm not very good at growing them from seed. They germinate eagerly but keeping them alive is difficult. You'd probably be better at it.

      Btw, I think I could get Avonia quinatia to self pollinate this year!

      Thank you as always for visiting :)