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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens


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LITHOPS - Living Stones

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lithopsvarietiestray Lithops are plants camouflaged as stones, a protective mechanism that keeps them safe from droughts and hungry animals. This process of evolution, known as cryptic mimicry has taken place through eons of adaptation. Lithops can also pull themselves down into the sand to prevent being dried to a crisp by African winds and sun.

These strange little plants use translucent windows at the top of the plant to trap and channel sunlight to photosynthetic cells deep inside the plant, allowing it to thrive and grow without having the common leaf structure as we know it.

The plant itself has the look of two flattened stones side by side, mirroring each other. Some rather humorous individuals have dubbed them "butt-rocks" due to this paired appearance.

Lithops go through a dormant period during the summer requiring virtually no water until its growth period starts in early fall, when flowering will occur. Shortly thereafter new leaves will push out from between the old leaves until the old ones are completely wilted away.

Growth will continue until summer when growth stops and the cycle has completed.

LIGHT: Provide a bright location. A sunny south window is ideal.

WATER: Water sparingly during the summer. Water slightly more in the fall when growth is occurring.