Lithops dorotheae G.C. Nel (1939)



Collected by Mrs Aletta Helena Eksteen in 1935 (NOT by 'Mrs Dorothea Eksteen' as stated in some publications), and named for Dr Dorothea van Huyssteen, daughter of Ds D.P. van Huyssteen, from whom Nel obtained them, but who did not know (according to Nel) whence he had received them. Mrs Bolus waited for her plants to flower before publishing the taxon as *L. eksteeniae, but her publlication appeared 15 days after that of Professor Nel, so the name L. dorotheae takes priority and Mrs Eksteen receives no credit for her discovery of one of the most sought-after of the Lithops species.


RSA: CP, in a small area near Pofadder (NOT Pella, as stated by Nel). TL near Pofadder (C124) (NOT Pella).
Stone: Fine-grained sheared quartz feldspar rock; feldspathic quartzite. Colours: reddish brown, yellowish brown, with some white.


A very striking and distinctive species with very clearly defined windows and bold rubrications.
Profile truncate-cordate; top surface occasionally ±flat, mostly distinctly convex, fissure shallow, 7-10 mm; lobes conjunct, sometimes very slightly divergent at the top.
Face flush; elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; opaque + transluscent; smooth.
Margins distinct and sharply defined, irregularly dentate or sinuate, usually with numerous peninsulas.
Windows seldom ± completely open, usually ± occluded.
Channels broad to narrow, irregular.
Islands few to many, small to large, irregular, usually sharply defined.
Rubrications in the windows and channels, usually numerous bold regular lines, dots, hooks and stars, sometimes connected into a broken network.
Dusky dots seldom visible even with a lens, few to many, scattered in the windows.
Colours: Margins and islands various shades of opaque creamy, yellowish or pinkish beige, sometimes tinged with green. Windows and channels various shades of transluscent greyish, brownish or reddish green, or greenish grey. Rubrications bright to dark blood-red, orange-red. Dusky dots obscure dull dark greyish green. Shoulders as for the margins.
Size: Small to medium, facial diameters up to 23 X 16 mm, mostly about 20-13 mm. Number of heads up to 7 or more, mostly 2-5.


Yellow, medium to large, rarely up to 42 mm Ø, mostly 25-30 mm Ø
Seed capsules mostly 5-merous (96%), otherwise 6-merous (3%), or 4-merous (1%). Profile boat-shaped, top flat to slightly peaked. Face broadly elliptic to elliptic, with a hinge-rim, up to 7 X 6 mm, mostly 6 X 5,5 mm.
Seeds yellow-brown; tuberculate 1. flecked.

* Information from CACTUS & Co, Vol. X, 1, pp 57-59 (2006)

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