Sunday, 17 June 2012

4. Promising Seedlings

These are some more seedlings - ones which I think are worth keeping an eye on for future selection. To my mind (in daylight and if you look closely...) they show some rather pretty colouring. Some seedlings don't have their first true leaves yet which is an indication of their real size. They're still tiny! Anyhow - here they are:


 L. comptonii
 L. hallii
 L. hookeri
L. comptonii  -  Mesa Gardens 1563.2. I think there's great red, blue and green potential there.
L. hallii - salicola reticulata grey C087a from Francois Hoes. At 0, 20 & 40 minutes I spot some teal, at 25 and 35 minutes, blue.

L. hookeri - v. marginata cerise C087a from Francois Hoes.  I think the one in the centre has a nice orange colour evenly distributed throughout.
 L. verruculosa
 L. dorotheae
 L. gracilidelineata
L. verruculosa -  glabra C160 from Francois Hoes. Here I see blue, green & pink possibilities.
L. dorotheae  - C300 from Francois Hoes. Lovely as always. Greenish, pinkish and a sort of tan one besides the more standard yellow & red one. Should present good opportunities.

L. gracilidelineata - C309. One is pinky & yellow and more spotted than the rest. Could be interesting...
 L. karasmontana
 L. verruculosa
 L. verruculosa
L. karasmontana - lericheana C330 from Francois Hoes. I'm the most excited about these. The three in the centre (most obvious on the one on the right hand side) have wonderful purple stripes which are absent on most of the others. Orange with purple stripes... Now you're talking! (My taste has always tended towards the gawdy).

L. verruculosa – inae from Succseed. I like the variation from brownish to bluish and the one at 45 mins has almost clear aucampiae-like windows.
L. verruculosa - Rose of Texas from Francois Hoes. A nice blue stripe on the side. Yum.





Feline child aka Katastrofes
L. otzeniana - 'Aquamarine' The vibrant green of the new leaves is too lovely.

Feline child on the Lithops table

26 comments:

  1. Beautiful seedling collection!

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  2. What an awesome post Paddarotti!! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pics of your Lithops offspring, and feline child too! :-) How old are these seedlings, or do they all vary? I have a tray of 3 week old seedlings, so I think I still have a few more moons to wait... Love the way you've placed and identified the Lithops in their pots like a handed watch too. Have to borrow this idea! :-) Must be a very rewarding feeling to see these plants grow from tinier than a tiny grain of sand Lithops seeds. I've started a strong liking for L. hookeri (with their cool pronounced grooves and ridges, and colours), and think that your L. hookeri Francois Hoes v. marginata cerise C087a looks smashing already, with their lovely orange/salmon hues. How cool would it be if there were bright fluro orange or pink or yellow or green or blue coloured Lithops, in L. hookeri preferably! :-) Your L. gracilidelineata C309 also looks very pretty, with their soft pastel hues. They look like they're blushing.

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  3. PS: Does Feline child and Lithops get along? With all the TLC and attention the Lithops are getting, and the sand as well, I suspect the possibility of jealousy from your cat, or perhaps even deliberate mischief or sabotage? Not all cats are the same, so I apologise if I've put unnecessary worry in your mind. We have a dog, and she knows that I know that she knows that I'm giving my Lithops way to much attention. She is quite cat-like too, and she(especially her tail) is always within my vision when she is near the Lithops. :-)

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    1. Thanks. Those are all a little over a year old now. I’m glad to hear you’ve sowed some seeds again. What are they? We’re very fortunate compared to northern hemisphere growers because seedlings really do grow quickly under our conditions. Seedlings can produce 2-3 sets of leaves a year during their first two years or so and by the time the second pair appears the hint of the wonderful patterns to come is already clearly visible. (After the juvenile phase I don’t think one should try to push them to produce more than one set a year.) Sow a batch every year and you’ll always have something wonderful happening.

      The watch arrangement was purely by chance. I only noticed it when I was writing about the photo – but it did make for easy referencing in that case! There are some really lovely things amongst L. hookeri. Mesa gardens has a variety “1616.62-hookeri v marginata 'red' C154 red brown lines” which I think may be similar.

      (http://www.mesagarden.com/mj2012.html)

      They have a very, very long list of other wonderful things too! The supplier in Belgium from whom I got those seeds seems not to be publishing a seed list anymore, although he said that he may have one to distribute by email at the end of the month.

      (http://users.skynet.be/fhoes/rsasucculents/)

      I think there is every possibility of getting all those wonderful colours - even in L. hookeri. This is what a Flickr search on L. hookeri turns up…

      (http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=lithops%20hookeri)

      Lighting and photoshop effects aside, this is my list of favourites on Flickr.
      (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lithopsandthings/favorites/)

      This is a L.hallii which I thought had great blue potential (hallii sometimes has a nice network of lines similar to hookeri).

      (http://www.palkowitschia.cz/sukulenty/en/offer.php?plants=l-m&filter=&page=3)

      I ordered some seeds of it from Atomic Plant in Germany (seeds & plants are listed together under the Lithops link.)

      (http://www.atomic-plant.de/start%20eng.html)

      The owner seems very nice and he comes highly recommended from Rika. His purple C190 is just mouth watering too. It doesn’t seem to be available at the moment but I’ll be watching in case it ever is! There are so many wonderful things on offer than one couldn’t ever have enough time or space for Lithops. Unfortunately I suspect that seeds are difficult to get into Oz and plants are near impossible. Is it the case?

      Just for eye candy, I thought these colours were also quite amazing – although not desirable in every case…

      (http://livingstones.com.ua/lithops)

      Their schwantesii also have awesome blue potential.

      (http://livingstones.com.ua/lithops/lithops_schwantesii)

      Unfortunately it seems they’re not geared for international orders.

      Feline is fine with all my plants and there’s plenty of scratching space in the garden so she doesn’t dig in the pots. I have been a bit nervous as she fishes bark chips (to chase around the house) out of the Cattleya pots, just because they’re a bit fragile. But there have been no serious casualties. She’s not mischievous and wouldn’t sabotage my operations although I wouldn’t leave an open tray of Lithops seedlings lying around. That would count as entrapment. She loves the hand which dispenses the Eukanuba, so much so that she brought me a gift over the weekend. A rabbit – probably someone’s rabbit – alive and kicking! Not really what I wanted for father’s day but I suppose it’s the thought that counts. This problem is still being dealt with. Strange that you mention the attention though – when I stand and gaze over the Lithops table for what must be hours…. she very quickly makes her discontent known. I couldn’t understand it but discovered that if I put her on the table next door (pictured) she’s all smiles. So I think you’re right about the attention issues. They clearly feel left out when their owners stand and fiddle for hours with those plant things.

      Enjoy the seedlings – watching them grow is marvellous.

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    2. I've sowed a packet of 100 Mixed Lithops seeds, a packet of L. optica cv. 'Rubra', and a packet of L. gracilidelineata ‘Waldroniae’ C189 from Oz Lithops, and to be quite honest, their survival rate thus far (about 3 weeks) is not very good, a lot have died, rotted away etc., but there seems to be a few from each packet that are fighting strong. When should I cut down on the watering (spraying) (at the moment, I am still spraying them lightly once or twice a day), and should I stop covering them now?

      I'm a big fan of the hookeri too, in particular their patterns and texture, and the hookeri v marginata 'red' C154 looks stunning! They look like yummy brains huh? (brain lollies I mean! Lol). Mesa Garden does have a great collection of seeds and plants, and when I visit websites of big suppliers like this, it's really inspiring! Oz Lithops has got a wonderful collection too!

      Your Flickr hookeri search and favourites really show how much variety there is with Lithops and how incredibly fascinating and beautiful they are. These are two of my favourite Lithops pics on Flickr:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/lithops/5491263360/in/faves-gaianursery/
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/retalesbotijero/7215962546/in/faves-gaianursery/

      A pure black Lithops, or bright fluro ones, how crazy would that be? :-) Not yet available(?), but anything is possible! I can't wait!! :-)

      Australia has got strict quarantine laws on importing plants and animals (including seeds) so yes, it can be difficult for plant enthusiasts to add new varieties to our collection, however, we do have Oz Lithops, and I've noticed (although my knowledge is still new) some interesting Lithops for sale in Australia on Ebay for example.

      I just cant wait to build my collection of these spectacular Lithops that are on this following link. I like the rare and unusual, and the reds/purples and "hot lips" just looks amazing!

      http://www.lithops.info/en/gallery/cv-images.html


      The schwantesii are a lovely species, and my urikosensis 'christinae' C210 is displaying some lovely characteristics. It looks like it is almost iridescent; strange, but beautiful!

      Animals are great to have around our plants too. I think they pick up on the vibe that we love the plants, and they are happy because we are happy. Our pets love us, and they don't usually go out of their way to cause trouble, unless they're young of course. Our dog Swan loves hanging out with me, especially when I repot the bigger plants in the backyard. She just likes the company really, and then she sits down like Anubis and goes into a trance, as she transcends to her zone. Lol!

      What do think of the idea of a Lithops Forum website? A place for all Lithops enthusiasts at all levels to share experience and knowledge together?

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    3. Okay - I hope the remaining seedlings do well. I would definitely uncover them and cut down the spraying. Try to figure out if the medium is moist at the depth of the roots. If it is, no watering is necessary. Unless they're in a fairly hot area (and it's winter now), they should definitely not need spraying more than once a week - but it does depend on your growing conditions. If you're using artificial heat and good strong light it could be different.

      Those are quite lovely yes. L. verruculosa is definitely one which has captured my imagination. I also thought a black one would be great - it seems L. lesliei venterii may offer some possibilities. Some of my comptonii also seem exceptionally dark. They are however still tiny and time will tell how they eventually turn out.

      Those cultivars are just scrumptuous. What a pity that Shimada's Apricot died :-(

      A Lithops forum sounds like a good idea. There is a yahoo Lithops group, but it's not all that active.... I really don't know why.

      Good luck with the seedlings.
      :-)

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  4. What a nice shape they have! :) They look really healthy and happy. the little dorotheae have a nice variaty of patterns and colors ;) You'll surely find anough ideas for cultivation from all of these seedlings.

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  5. I don't think your taste "tends toward the gaudy"--if Lithops are "domesticated", then their coloring is going to change, even as the agouti coloring of wild rabbits, dogs, and kitties has changed as they have shared our world. So yes to yellow and purple and green! Your young Lithops look fantastic.

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  6. I live in JHB, and I am dissapointed about the lack of lithops plants in the nurseries, and the lack of interesting seeds in south africa.

    After figuring out how lithops is written in kanji, I found the famed japanese grower's website

    http://www.geocities.jp/axxrd/gunsenen/gunsenen.htm

    He has very interesting hybrids, how difficult would it be to get seed of his hybrids?

    Are you in JHB aswell?

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    1. Hi rollingstone,
      The grower and the Gunsenen Nursery owner is Mr. Yasuhiko Shimada who is also the author of "The Genus Lithops" (great book with locality photos and all the photos of plants from his nursery incl. hybrids, but nowhere to find outside Japan)
      He doesn't sell seeds and he doesn't sell outside Japan. I have several of his plants and am now hoping for more seeds, especially of the beautiful Ventergreens (I do have Green Horn seeds from Shimadas plants if you're interested). If you're wondering about the hookeri "Shimada's Apricot" cultivar, I heard it has died in his collection..

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    2. Hi rollingstone

      Yip - it would be nice if more Lithops were available here. But don't despair! They are so easily raised from seeds and there are enough seeds available on the net (I've used Silverhillseeds.co.za, mesa gardens US - what a list they've got!! - succseed.com in Sweden, Atomic-plant in Germany and Francois Hoes in Belgium. I'm convinced that within a fairly short space of time one will be able to find anything you can imagine in the seed bed and a few things you can't! If anyone's going to make glow in the dark it'll be me!!

      I think you mean the Blood Red? They were from Francois Hoes and they're a selection from the reddest of the karasmontana in his collection. They haven't flowered yet but they definitely will around April next year. I will pollinate and you are welcome to have some seeds. I'm across the Jukskei in PTA :-)

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    3. Nice to see some of Mr Shimada's pictures :-) He's got a couple of plants allright!

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    4. Mr Shimada's "Shimada´s Apricot" looks amazing! I just want to eat them! :-)

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  7. How does one go about getting seeds from you? I was also wondering if paddarotti has any spare seeds he would think of selling, those top red lithops are especially nice

    I'm surprised china hasn't caught onto the lithops thing yet, I'm sure they will make day glo and glow in the dark lithops

    There are some lithops that look like a miniature brain greyish with red squiggles, I think its a ruschiocrum

    We in the country of these things, yet people in other countries have more access to lithops, very strange

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    1. >>>We in the country of these things, yet people in other countries have more access to lithops, very strange>>>
      I was wondering the same thing, a paradox. My Better Half said once "Don't lithops fans in South Africa just go out in the desert and get them there?" :D
      China maybe didn't get there yet, but Korea did...
      (feel free to email me)

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    2. Yip - one would expect them to be more popular here. I was mentioning to someone the other day that there are even species with the location given as Pretoria. Now - I've lived here all my life which is about 40 years and I've never seen a wild Lithops. That's not because I haven't looked... I'm sure if one looked in the right places you'd find them eg amongst rocks in the granite hills and then you have 1 of the many species. However, I can assure you they don't grow on the sides of the city roads :-)

      As for collecting - the species are spread over a very large area and the localities are often in the middle of nowhere - no people, no buildings, no roads.... I remember visiting Namibia as child, where many of the species come from, and there is lots and lots and of desert. To collect a fraction of the species one would have to travel thousands of kilometers. It would be nice to see them in the wild in one or two locations but for the expense and effort of collecting a tiny fraction of the species you could buy seeds of every available item on every seed list you could ever find! So it's a practical issue.

      But yes - some fans do go out there to hunt them down.

      One a more serious note, I also think that unless you have a particular and serious academic interest in genetics or something like that the removal of plants in from the wild cannot be justified given what is available in cultivation.

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    3. I thought so, too. That the plants are out there in the wild.
      But at leaset you have internet to get seeds of almost everything you'd want and most importantly the best growing conditions ;)

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    4. Well I never... I just saw this: L. leslei on the grounds of a housing estate a kilometre or two from where I live!! But sadly it seems that they are no more, since they probably ended up underneath a house... :-(

      http://www.ispot.org.za/node/152535?nav=search

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    5. That would be so cool to see Lithops grow in the wild. Another dream of mine; to go trekking and find a new Lithops species! :-) Funny how we take things for granted, how the grass is greener, and we don't really appreciate what we have in our own backyard and we always want what we don't have. Australia has got some incredible plants, but I know one of the reasons why I am not as interested in them as I am in Lithops is because they are just there in my backyard. A part of the human condition.

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  8. If I can see a plant is hanging onto life by a thread in its native habitat, I will intervene by digging it up and planting it in a pot at home, I would have dug up that lithops colony, if I knew that its survival was at risk.

    Better being alive in a pot than dead in its native habitat.

    We can always plant back in its native habitat once it multiplies in a pot at home.

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    1. Indeed yes. If the bulldozers are approaching one should come to the rescue.

      Send me an email then I can let you know once I've collected seeds. It'll only be late next year - but rather late than never :-)

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  9. HI, sorry, I thought I had you listed already, love your blog! Correctly added now!! LOL! Seeya! LT

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  10. Just found your blog. Nice to see you have a specialty! Great photos and information.

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad if it's useful (c:

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