Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)
Scientific name: Lithops olivacea L. Bol. 1929
Common English Names include: Stone plant, Green stone
plant, Living stone.
Origin: The two
varieties of L. olivacea (var. olivacea and var.
nebrownii) are restricted and occur sporadically in
Bushmanland, and are found most abundantly however
in the region of Aggeneys, Pofadder and Namies, although there
are earlier collections far to the east from the Kakamas area, where it
has not been seen in recent times.
Ecology: L. olivacea is a
quartz lover and will always be found growing either on big outcrops
of quartz or more commonly on quartz plains where the quartz pebbles
protect the plants from the blazing summer sun by reflecting a lot of
the light and heat. Its hard
translucent gloss closely resembles the white quartz crystalline
rubble of its
succulent plant that is almost always found growing with L.
olivacea is Avonia
papyracea, which loves quartz too. In times
drought the plants shrivel and are almost invisible,
as they get covered with fine wind-blown
rain, however, they
absorb water and become fat and
turgid. There is a considerable correlation between the colour of
populations and the nature of their
habitats. For example L. olivacea, which is
more red-brown, green-brown in appearance in its westerly locations,
becomes yellower in the
dry season and more purplish-red-grey further north. The more
taxa, the more there is
within that taxa.
Cultivation: Need an open
mineral, fast draining mix and the maximum amount of light you are able
to give them. The basic cultivation routine is: Stop watering after
flowering. Start watering after the old leaves completely dry. (Usually
late March or Early April) Water freely during the growing season, soak
the compost fully but allow it to dry out between waterings,
no water when cold. Some growers fertilize
frequently, some hardly ever. Keep them dry during the winter. Nearly
all problems occur as a result of
overwatering and poor ventilation especially when weather
conditions are dull and cool or very humid.
This plant is best for a well lit area (Bright