Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Living Stones
Lithops aucampiae

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lithops (LY-thops) (Info)
Species: aucampiae (ow-KAMP-ee-ay) (Info)

Synonym:Lithops aucampiae subsp. aucampiae
Synonym:Lithops aucampiae var. aucampiae

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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3 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Patricia_CR On Apr 4, 2011, Patricia_CR from Grecia, Alajuela
Costa Rica wrote:

I have had 5 different varieties of Lithops for over 5 years. Lost 2 other ones, one to watering out of time (trying to adapt them to my tropical weather) and the other one, to root mealy bugs.

Lithops are supposed to be watered in their growing time, which would be from the end of May to the end of October. It is recommended to water during this time and then stop. They will flower then. They do need excellent light conditions, drainage and ventilation, always. The growing tall is because of lack of light.

They do are a challenge to grow, but a good one ;-)

Positive vanislandgirl On Apr 4, 2011, vanislandgirl from Ladysmith, BC wrote:

They are best grown from seed. But have also bought them from growers. The plants take very little water. And flower very late Summer into fall and Winter. After they flower they need to rest. The outer leaves will slowly die back and the new leaves will become full. Don't water during this time. They don't always flower very year.Give them good light. coarse well drained soil. If they are growning tall then you are growing them wrong. The plants I have now I grew from seed many years ago. I love all the little plants from South Africa

Negative orkid101 On Apr 4, 2011, orkid101 from West Chester, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love this plant, but it is the bane of my gardening existence. I have tried growing them on and off for over 30 years. They usually grow very tall and fall over. I have one now that I have had for about 1 year, and thought I finally had the proper care and location. In the past month, though, one plant shriveled up and the other plant in the pot is growing tall. I am very careful about not watering it too much, and it is in a sunny window. Does anyone have any advice?

Neutral Maddog2020 On Apr 4, 2011, Maddog2020 from Houma, LA wrote:

how well would this plant do in zone 9?

Neutral Xenomorf On Jul 23, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant is a variety of "Lithops aucampiae subsp. aucampiae"

Positive hanna1 On Nov 5, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

In the wild they are usually covered by sand. Do not overwater, they are extremely drought tolerant. They are from South Africa. The designs on top are actually translucent windows that filter the harsh sun from the tender photosythesis cells underneath. You should place it in a sunny window. Do not worry if it wrinkles somewhat, that is a natural process, just give it a "little" amount of water.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Chandler, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Castro Valley, California
Lawndale, California
Los Angeles, California
Monterey Park, California
Riverside, California
Richardson, Texas

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