bait in the wolf trap (petitfour) wrote in wtf_nature,
bait in the wolf trap

lithops: "the butt plant"

The lithops plant's name may mean "stone-like," but as a friend of mine who studies botany likes to insist, a better name for them might be the butt-plant:

The lithops is a succulent native to Africa, mainly in Namibia and South Africa. It is especially characteristic of the Karoo region at Africa's southern tip. The guy who named them was actually a botanist who picked one up off the ground, thinking it was an interesting pebble.

"There is no stem as such, but rather the taproot joins abruptly at the base of the leaves. The structure of the plant reveals to the imagination the harsh environment in which Lithops live: the scarcity of water demands that young plants limited to only two leaves and a root system, as more extravagant growth would only serve to waste water.

The leaves are thick to store enough water for the plants to survive for months without rain. The plants are small and keep a low profile to minimize the effect of the intense heat and light of their climate."

They come in a huge variety of textures and colors. Sometimes they flower:

Sometimes they flower in a manner that appears mildly obscene:

Sometimes they divide in to two more lobed plants by pushing up new leaves between the old ones (braaaaaains):

You can apparently cultivate them pretty easily at home, and now I really want some especially as I like succulents in particular. They're strangely cute:

I also didn't know that these plants could get a sunburn!

"In some situations however, it is advisable to shade the plants a little from intense sunlight in the spring to prevent sunburn, especially in areas that experience poor light during most of the winter.

This is because the plants lose resistance to bright light during a prolonged period of overcast weather, and the sudden brightness of a clear day will cause them to become burned, causing a whitish scar tissue to form on the surface of the plant. A badly burned plant may be so severely injured that it may die."

Awww! It would burn it's bottom.

main article on wiki

great gallery of other lithops
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