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Lithops Otzeniana C
65 km N of Karasburg, Namibia


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of Cacti and Succulents.

Lithops otzeniana C128A cv. AQUAMARINE - 35 km NNW of Loeriesfontein, South Africa


Description: Lithops otzeniana usually forms small groups with 2-5 heads but occasionally with up to 25 heads (especially in cultivation). It is a very peculiar species easily distinguished for its translucent greenish-olive top with lighter raised, scalloped islands around the edges.
Cole numbers:
C128, C280, C350
Body (paired leaves): Up to 3 cm hight and 20-30 mm x 15-20 mm wide, cordate truncate in profile, with a relative deep fissure and lobes half-moon shaped more or less divergent,
Face: More or less elliptical smooth to moderately rugose and more or less convex.
Margin: Very distinct with elevated teeth-like rounded peninsulas.
Island: Usually few but sometime numerous mostly included among the margins peninsulas. Colour light grey with shades of pink, cream, green or blue.
Windows: Mostly occluded with broad to narrow channel. Colour: Greenyish, olive-green or bluish green, translucent sometime with white or pink shadows.
Rubrication: Not present.
Yellow with a white throat, about 1,5-3,5 cm diameter.
Blooming season: Early autumn.
Fruit: Mostly 5-loculed capsules.


  • Lithops otzeniana cv. Aquamarine'1985 Cole number: C128A
    This cultivar comes from a unique specimen collected by Collected by D.T. & N.A. Cole. Its peculiarity are the dark greyish-green windows with pale creamy-green margin, indentation and island. Apart for the colour the plant is identical to the standard form. Origin: North West of Loeriesfontein.

  • Lithops otzeniana cv. Cesky Granat 2001
    Similar in shape and size to the normal form but with a distinctive red colouring.

Lithops otzeniana C128A cv. AQUAMARINE

Lithops otzeniana C128A cv. AQUAMARINE



Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  
Lithops otzeniana lG.C. Nel
In: Kakteenkunde 123-127, 1937

OriginSouth Africa, Northern Cape, (Bushmanland) district Calvinia
TL 'Bushmanland: Brakfontein, 30 miles from Loeriesfontein

Habitat:  Endemic to a very small area. The substrate comprises mainly gneiss and granite rocks. The plants grows ether on open places and under bushes. Background colours: Grey-white, pale brown or greenish.

Common English Names include: Stone plant,  Living stone.

Etymology: Named after M. Otzen who accompanied  Nel in the exploration trip during which it found this species.

Remarks: Lithops are partly subterranean, with only the clear 'window' in each leaf tip exposed above soil. A type of optical system exists whereby a layer of apical tissue rich in calcium oxalate crystals acts as a filter to intense sunlight before it reaches the thin chlorophyllous layer below. They are also called mimicry plants as they show a striking similarity to their background rocks and are difficult to detect when not in flower. These are the commonly known as pebble plants or living stones; each species is associated with one particular type of rock formation and occurs nowhere else. Its soil-embedded, subterranean growth form also reduces the need for chemical defences against herbivores.


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 shade to full sun). But don't be afraid e
ven the best growers have plants that mysteriously dry up, or leave during the night.

After flowering in the autumn and extending through winter season the plant doesn’t need watering, but they will still be growing, the new bodies will be increasing in size extracting water from the outer succulent leaves, allowing them to shrivel away.  In fact the plant in this time extracts water and nutrient stored in the outer succulent leaves, allowing them to dehydrate relocating the water  to the rest of the plant and to the new leaves that form during this period until the old leaves are reduced to nothing more than "thin papery shells".


Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Lithops otzeniana.

  • Lithops



Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery LITHOPS


Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Encyclopaedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.