These South African Plants Have Evolved To Look Like Stones

February 11, 2018

Lithops, also known as "Living Stones" or "Flowering Stones", are beautiful succulent plants that have evolved to avoid being eaten by grazing animals by blending in with the stones in their natural environment.

lithops plant that looks like rocks

In the wild, Lithops inhabit vast dry regions of South Africa. Like a cactus, they survive due to their capacity to store water for long periods of time. The leaves are thick to store enough water for the plants to survive for months without rain.

And because they thrive in low humidity and need infrequent watering and care, Lithops make great houseplants. They just need a good amount of direct sunlight.

lithops plant that looks like rocks
Credit: Twitter / @SBoscott

During the summer months, Lithops are dormant, resting as they do in the wild.

But the end of summer or early fall, the plants will begin growing and a beautiful white or yellow flower will unfold.

Eupeodes corollae & Lithops ruschiorum var. ruschiorum, C 102

If you do decide to buy one for your home, don't get frustrated if it doesn't bloom the first year. Lithops generally take between three to five years before they begin flowering.

To learn more about caring for Lithops, visit

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