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Lapidaria




     From Namaqualand in South Africa, Lapidaria is a monotypic genus of Mesemb related to Lithops and Dintheranthus. They used to be included in the genus Argyroderma. Lapidaria margaretae is a beautifull blue grey sculptured plant that can take on a pinkish hue in strong light. Large yellow daisy like flowers are produced in fall. Like Lithops and Argyroderma they normally consist of one pair of leaves, but I've always seen them look like the one above. Normally you wouldn't water when the old pair of leaves is shrivelling up and the new pair is growing in. This assures that the old pair of leaves completely dissapear and the new pair get as large as nature will allow. But watering during this time produces a phenomenon known as stacking, where two or even three seasons growth are retained. Personally I like the effect with this plant. Who cares if the plant is overall a little smaller? It looks good
     They are winter growers so they need to be watered carefully and kept warm during their growing season. The potting mix should be mineral based and drain quickly. The rest of the year they should be kept cool and dry. Only water when the leaves start to shrivel.
     I've had a devil of a time growing these, the roots rot very easily. But I managed to get three of them potted up together to survive the winter. They actually look pretty good. Now getting them through summer is another story.

Update late November 2006. One flowered!



A pretty
yellow flower

A closer
view
All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.