Family: Aizoaceae
Common Name: Living Stone, Pebble Plant, Stoneface

Originating from South Africa and Namibia, these fascinating plants consist of a top-shaped body composed of an opposite pair of swollen, fleshy leaves joined at the base, with a narrow fissure dividing them for half their length. The apex of each is the flattened 'stone face', sometimes completely translucent and sometimes with small 'windows' or translucent spots. Patterns, markings and dots are reproduced from generation to generation, only the main body colour varying slightly at times. They form clumps slowly, increasing by one or two bodies each year. The white or yellow, daisy-like flow­ers, which emerge from the fissure in late summer or autumn, are quite large, completely cov­ering the small plant when fully open. For sev­eral days, they open about midday and close at sunset.


L. aucampiae has large, reddish brown bodies with darker brown windows covering most of the flat top. The flowers are yellow.

L. divergens has a very wide fissure between the leaves, a greenish pink, slightly wrinkled body, crescent-shaped, green windows on the inward-sloping tops, and yellow flowers.

L. fulviceps is coffee-coloured, with dark blue and orange dots and yellow flowers.

L. julii has a grayish green body with darker veining, a dotted line on the edges of the fissure, and white flowers. L. karasrnontana is gray, with brown windows and lines and white flowers.

L. olivacea is green, with an olive green window on each leaf, and yellow flowers.

L. turbiniformis has a dark brown body, with darker markings and yellow flowers.


These tender succulents are grown in an intermediate greenhouse or conservatory. Grow in deep pots of cactus compost, which should be readily available from good garden centers. If available, add some leaf mould to the compost. The plants need maximum light and airy conditions. Carry out normal watering from the start of summer to the end of autumn but do not water the plants for the rest of the year, when they are resting. Propagate from seed sown in spring. Germinate at 24°C (75°F). Detach and pot up offsets in summer.


Must be frost-free. Warmer parts of zone 10, and above.

Lithodora      Littonia