The Cactus Patch
THE NEWSLETTER OF THE BAKERSFIELD CACTUS & SUCCULENT SOCIETY
Volume 5       March 2002      Number 3

Lithops and Conophytum
Small Scale Succulents
For The Big Time Collector

Text and Photos by Stephen Cooley

When it comes to succulents, it would not be unusual to find yourself short on space but long on enthusiasm. You could take over what's left of the back lawn and put in a few cold frames and a lathe
house, or perhaps, try something different: scale down the size of your plants. Lithops and Conophytum are ideal for this. Both stay small and can be grown in small pots (the smaller the pot, the smaller the plant stays -- I have a Lithops terricolor that has been in a 1.5" tall X 1.5" wide pot for nearly 5 years!)

Though both have a reputation for being finicky and a little hard to grow, that is a distinction given them by those who have purchased
Though both have a reputation for being finicky and a little hard to grow, that is a distinction given them by those who have purchased them as novelties. The educated and enthusiastic hobbyist should have no difficulty in raising both. Though I will not go into how to cultivate them here, ask around at the next meeting and you'll get all the growing information that you need.

Some of the many attractions that Lithops and Conophytum have (besides their size) are the various shapes and patterns that decorate their leaves. They both flower abundantly and are readily raised from
seed. They have a habit of replacing all their leaves every year, which means that any blemishes are tossed off and replaced with new, unmarked leaves. They look fantastic when staged with the right colored top dressing and a nice pot. And, there are 88 species of Conophytum and 36 species of Lithops -- with countless variations, both natural and horticultural. Lithops tend to be summer growers while Conophytum are winter growers, so there is always something going on in the collection.

My favorite source for seeds is:
Mesa Garden, PO Box 72, Belen NM 87002.
Free catalog or view it online at: www.mesagarden.com

If you have any comments or questions or would like to
submit a photograph or article, contact

thecactuspatch@aol.com

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