Lithops Species, 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
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Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade




Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

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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Gardeners' Notes:


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 ;-)


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


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?


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

how well would this plant do in zone 9?


On Jul 23, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

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


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.