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Lithops pseudotruncatella ssp. dentritica "farinosa" C245
55km SSW Rehoboth, Namibia

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Lithops pseudotruncatella subsp. dendritica var. farinosa C245
It has pale blue-grey to grey body with brown branched markings and is one the more robust and easy growing plants in the genus.

Description: Lithops pseudotruncatella is a very free- growing species, forming clumps. It was one of first plant of this genus discovered and for a long time one of the first representative in European collections. Generally this Lithops is characterized by greyish colour with darker ramosely branched marbling on the upper surfaces, but it is also a very variable taxon in which a number of variety and forms has been described. The status of these is uncertain. The body is medium to very large, solitary or variously branched with  more of 20 heads. Facial diameters  25-50 X 20-35 mm and up to 4 cm tall. 
Flowers: Yellow (occasionally white), medium to very large, up to 50 mm Ø, mostly 25-40 mm Ø.

Lithops pseudotruncatella comprises several more or less intergrading and distinct variety:

  • ssp. pseudotruncatella  (N.E. Brown) N.E. Brown 1908. Cole numbers: C067, C070, C263, C315 “alpina”, C068, C381 “mundtii”, C099, C100 “clear form”.
    It is a medium to very large sized elliptical plant about 40 X 30 mm wide, the body is flat to slightly convex with a shallow fissure,and  lobes conjunct. It branches easily and forms clumps with up to 20 (or more) heads, but usually less. It is somewhat variable in colour, usually opaque, smooth to very slightly rugose, uniform pale grey or beige tinted with variously shaded. Face, margins and shoulders  dull grey.  Windows and margins usually not clearly distinguishable, In the upper surface there a broken network of irregularly and extensively branched tree-like rubrications that sometimes are reduced to a scattering of short lines, dashes and dots; the ends often finely ramose and tapering off into the outer margins.
  • ssp. pseudotruncatella var. elisabethiae (Dinter) De Boer & Boom 1933 Cole numbers: C187
    It is quite similar to the standard variety but whit a peculiar bluish-pink colour.
  • ssp. pseudotruncatella  var. riehmerae D.T. Cole 1987 “edithiae” (var. edithae (N.E.Brown) De Boer) Cole numbers: C097
    Not very different from the standard variety, it differs mainly in its generally smaller size. The head colour is pale grey colour with less extensive markings.
  • ssp. archerae (De Boer) Cole 1967 (L. archeri De Boer) Cole numbers: C104, C306
    This subspecies is easily recognized for its  truncate profile and round-elliptic face, the uniform milky grey-green colour is also very characteristic of this plant.
  • ssp. dendritica (Nel) De Boer & Boom 1946(L. dendritica Nel. L. farinosa Dinter.) Cole numbers: C072, C073, C357, C384, “farinosa” C245, “pulmonuncula”C071(var. pulmuncola (Jacobsen) Jacobsen)
    This form is distinguishable for the more regularly branched channels and rubrications that forms an almost a honeycomb pattern. The face has usually a reddish colour.
  • ssp. groendrayensis (Jacobs.) D.T. Cole 1961. Cole numbers: C239, C244 “Witkop form”, C246 Pale grey-white in colour with minutely pin-pricked or wrinkled top surface.
  • ssp. volkii (Schwant. ex H.W. de Boer & B.K. Boom) D.T. Cole 1961 Cole numbers: C069
    The face of this form is pale bluish-white  with  very few rubrications and few or no dusky dots.


  • ssp. pseudotruncatella  cv. Albiflora “White flowering-form”. Cole numbers: C264
    This cultivar has white flowers instead of yellow, but the plant is identifiable only when in flower.
  • ssp. Archerae cv. 'Split Pea' 1999 Green form.




Family: Mesebrianthemaceae (Aizoaceae)

Scientific name:  Lithops pseudotruncatella (Berg.) N.E. Br. (1908) subsp. dendritic var. farinosa

Origin:  Namibia, It is found in an wide around Windhoek with a radius of about 40 km, but with a large extension projecting some 120 km beyond Steinhausen to the NE.

Habitat:  Habitat: It is found growing among quartzite and mica schist stones.

Common English Names include: Stone plant, living stone.

Etymology: The species name comes from the Latin words 'pseudo' meaning 'false or resembling', and 'truncatella 'somewhat truncate'.




Lithops pseudotruncatella flowers early at the beginning of september (15 to 30 days before all the other lithops). The flowers are golden yellow


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.

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 shade to full sun). But don't be afraid even 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 pseudotruncatella.


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.