Species of the Genus Lithops as Indoor Ornamental Plants

Ioana CRIȘAN, Andrei STOIE, Maria CANTOR

Abstract


The plants of the genus Lithops are truly the “living stones†of Africa. The species of this genus reached an amazing adaptation by the color and the aspect of their two modified leaves which successfully mimic the substrate of their natural habitats so that they are hard to spot in the wild, and probably because of this they have been discovered by Europeans only in the XIX century. Because the species of the genus Lithops have not been naturalized outside the habitats in which they evolved, their cultivation is as much important since many species are vulnerable in their environment (Lithops francisci, Lithops hermetica, Lithops werneri) and hold importance for biodiversity conservation and because of this they can often be found as part of the succulent collections of the botanical gardens. These plants have become more popular in the last years because are not very difficult to maintain and require little space, being a suitable decorative plant for apartments or offices and at the same time the ideal plants for the busy people since the owner doesn’t have to worry if they forget to water them for some time. All these plants need is sufficient light and if the very few simple caring rules required are followed thoroughly, these living stones will know how to fully reward with an autumn bloom. This paper presents some popular species from the genus Lithops with their morphological characteristics, environmental factors requirements, cultivation techniques as well as utilization possibilities in extending their use in interior design as pot plants.


Keywords


Lithops, living stones, Aizoaceae, interior design, pot plants.

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