Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!

Caffeine: the most potent artificial intelligence drink!
Deep in the Lair of the Perpetually Curious Fox

Friday, 24 June 2011

Lithops! Living stones ...

10 years ago, just after my final year in College, I went backpacking in southern Africa under pretext of Eclipse Chasing. One of the things that really caught my attention (shiny penny!) are the stone mimicry of the native plants in the more arid region.

In the *wild* it's harder to spot them between the rocks that they love to roost in (thanks to Matt Maggio for sharing his travel photos)

I managed to get a good batch of lithops seeds from a nice hobbyist in Bulgaria last month and promptly sown them in my home made germinator. I'm waaay too lazy to retype all the steps, but you can read about it in this thread on a well known plants forum. I didn't start out all gung-ho - I did a lot of reading and try to mimic the closest to it's natural environmental settings to maximise germination and survival as I was informed that they are quite notoriously hard to raise from seedlings. The best information I found online was from this wonderful site Another good source for information can be found here

I followed his instructions as close to the letter as possible, in a very *banjo* way... and was pleasantly surprised to find a whole crop of seedlings within 10 days! Astounding! So far none of them looked distressed or diseased; very robust batch of mongrel seeds.

Say hi to my little stone mimicry plants

I still cannot identify the species of the seedlings. That will have to wait until they are at least 6 months old, as their true leaves are quite different morphologically than that of the cotyledons. It will be fun to solve the mystery of their identities, with the help of good taxonomic listings you can find online (like this one). Oh what would I do without Teh Greatz Interwebz

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