Index:



L. gracilidelineata subsp. gracilidelineata var. gracilidelineata
    acf 'Ernst's Witkop'
L. gracilidelineata subsp. gracilidelineata var. waldroniae
    acf 'Fritz's White Lady'
L. gracilidelineata subsp. brandbergensis



Lithops gracilidelineata Dint. (1928)


subsp. gracilidelineata


var. gracilidelineata



       

Origin:


Collected by Ernst J. Rusch in August 1927. Latin gracili- 'finely, slenderly', delineata 'drawn, marked, lined'.

Distribution:


Namibia, in a long narrow quadrilateral area bounded approximately by points about 60 km SE and 120 km E of Swakopmund in the S, Sesfontein in the NW and Outjo in the NE. TL between Uis and Nainais, SE of the Brandberg (C261). The localities reported near Sesfontein and Outjo have not yet been confirmed.
Stone: Quartzite; fine feldspathic quartzite gravel; pegmatite gravel. Colours yellowish white, white, pink, grey, grey-white, brown, some black.

Description:


Generally distinguished by its pale white colour, fine reticulation of facial markings and rugose top surface.
Profile truncate, usually somewhat convex, occasionally flat; fissure shallow, 4-7 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, round to mostly elliptic; lobes mostly ± equal; opaque; usually distinctly rugose, occasionally smooth.
Margins and Windows usually absent or not clearly distinguishable; occasional specimens have the semblance of a very obscurely transluscent window.
Channels manifest as distinct but very slender lines which may be superficial and then the face is smooth; or, typically, as impressed narrow grooves or furrows set in a system of interconnected valleys, so that the face is divided into a number of humps, therefore distinctly rugose; the channels (lines or grooves) usually form a coarse or fine broken network, sometimes with irregularly branched lines tapering off into the marginal area, but occasionally they are reduced to a number of fine broken lines, dashes or dots, or, rarely, they may be completely absent.
Islands manifest only as areas (usually humped) enclosed by channels.
Rubrications ocassionally absent, usually a number of fine dots, dashes or short lines set in the channels, but rarely distinguishable from them, even under a lens.
Dusky dots usually not visible at all, occasionally obscurely perceptible under a lens.
Colours: Face usually fairly uniform, opaque pale greyish white, pearl grey, pale milky bluish, yellowish or pinkish grey; sometimes suffused or smudged with buff, beige or pinkish brown, especially in the marginal areas and along the edges of the channels in the valleys; marginal areas sometimes slightly lighter in colour than the rest of the face. Channels various shades of transluscent dark greyish green, greenish grey or brown or reddish brown. Rubrications usually very obscure and seldom distinguishable from the channels even under a lens; pinkish, brownish, orange or blood-red. Dusky dots dull dark greenish grey. Shoulders as for the face, sometimes slightly lighter or darker.
Size: Medium to very large, facial diameters up to 50 X 38 mm, mostly about 35 X 25 mm. Number of heads up to 5 or more, but seldom more than 1.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 45 mm Ø, mostly 25-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (51%), or 7-merous (31%), otherwise mainly 8-merous (11%), 9-merous (5%) or 5-merous (2%). Profile rotund to boat-shaped, top rather variable ± flat to slightly concave or convex, quite often peaked. Face round to broadly elliptic, with hinge-rim, up to 11,5 X 10,5 mm, mostly about 9 X 8 mm.
Seeds light yellow-brown, smooth to rugose 1, flecked.

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Lithops gracilidelineata Dint. (1928)


subsp. gracilidelineata


var. gracilidelineata
acf 'Ernst's Witkop' (1985)



Origin:


This form appeared in 1980 among seedlings grown by Ernst E. Fritz from seed from plants which he had collected some 70 km ENE of Swakopmund, Namibia (C385). In our opinion the plants in this colony are very close to var. waldroniae, and should be classified as such, in which case acf 'Ernst's Witkop' ('witkop' = white head or hill) should be regarded as identical with acf 'Fritz's White Lady'.

Description:


Flowers white (instead of yellow), but the plants otherwise indistinguishable from others in the same colony, and therefore identifiable only when in flower.
Colours: Margins and islands opaque pale creamy yellowish green. Windows and channels obscurely transluscent greenish grey or greyish green. Rubrications usually very obscure, dull orange-red. Dusky dots very rarely perceptible even with a lens, dull dark greyish green, Shoulders as for margins or greyer and duller.

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Lithops gracilidelineata Dint. (1928)


subsp. gracilidelineata


var. waldroniae H.W. de Boer (1963)



     

Note:


The distinction between var. waldroniae and the type is rather tenuous, being based essentially on the depth of the valleys and therefore on the degree of rugosity. However, the significantly smaller flowers and seed capsules do constitute a consistently discernible difference. On the other hand, there are colonies (e.g. C243, C385) in the southwestern part of the range, plants from which resemble var. waldroniae in appearance, but consistently produce intermediate-sized flowers and seed capsules.

Origin:


Collected by Mrs Molly M. Waldron of Walvis Bay in 1960, and named for her.

Distribution:


Namibia, at the SW end of the range of the species, i.e. to the E and SE of Swakopmund and within about 80 km of the town. TL SE of Swakopmund, in the 'Vogelfederberg' (C189).
Stone: Eroded (sandblasted) quartzite. Colours white, grey-white, grey, light to dark brown.

Description:


Essentially as for the type, but the valleys deeper, the reticulation of channesl more deeply impressed and more extensively and more finely branched, the surface therefore more rugose.
Colours: Face opaque greyish white, pinkish white or beige, the impressed lines brownish to reddish.
Size: Medium to large, facial diameters up to 40 X 30 mm, mostly about 30 X 25 mm. Number of heads up to 4 or more, mostly 1-2.

Flowers:


Yellow, very small to small, up to 20 mm Ø, mostly 10-15 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (66%), or 7-merous (23%), otherwise mainly 8-merous (9%), or 5- or 9-merous (3%). Profile boat-shaped, top usually flat, sometimes slightly convex. Face broadly elliptic, with hinge-rim, up to 7 X 6 mm, mostly about 6,5 X 6 mm.
Seeds light brown, smooth to rugose 1, flecked.

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Lithops gracilidelineata Dint. (1928)


subsp. gracilidelineata


var. waldroniae
acf 'Fritz's White Lady' (1985)



Origin:


This form appeared in 1980 among seedlings grown by Ernst E. Fritz from plants collected by D.T. & N.A. Cole in colony C189. No specimens have been found in habitat, but presumably they have occured there naturally at some time. This form is very similar to acf 'Ernst's Witkop' which may not really be distinct from it.

Description:


Flowers white (instead of yellow), but the plants otherwise indistinguishable from var. waldroniae and therefore identifiable only when in flower.

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Lithops gracilidelineata Dint. (1928)


subsp. brandbergensis (H.W. de Boer) D.T. Cole (1963)



 

Note:


This taxon was published by Dr H.W. de Boer as avariety of L. pseudotruncatella, but we have always considered it to be more closely related to L. gracilidelineata. Study of authentic material collected in May 1986 has confirmed this impression, while examination of the seed leaves no doubt that it belongs in L. gracilidelineata. In view of its very distinctive colour and bold rubrications, and its unique ecological situation, we consider that it should be accorded subspecific status.

Origin:


Collected by Jalmar Rudner in June 1955, and again by D.T. & N.A. Cole on 14 May 1986 (C383, PRE).

Distribution:


Namibia, on top of the Brandberg, 150 km NW of Usakos. Two colonies are known to occur near the Aigub, the second-highest promontory on the Brandberg, at 2300-2400 metres, the greatest height yet recorded for Lithops habitats. This unique area is almost in the middle of the range of subsp. gracilidelineata, colonies of which occur in various directions around the Brandberg; at least one such colony is situated on the lower slopes of the mountain, about a third of the way up on the S.E. side.
Stone: Weathered brown granitic gravel.

Description:


Distinguished from the type by its very distinctive colour and bold rubrications.
Profile truncate; usually somewhat convex, occasionally ± flat; fissure shallow, 4-8 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush; round to elliptic; lobes mostly ± equal; mostly opaque; slightly rugose.
Margins not clearly distinguishable, irregularly indented.
Windows usually absent, sometimes barely discernible as a very obscurely transluscent 'shadow'.
Channels mostly set in a fairly regular network of shallow valleys; mostly narrow, irregular and faintly transluscent.
Islands occur only as fairly regular opaque areas within the network of channels and valleys.
Rubrications in the channesl, a bold fairly regular network of lines, sometimes with intermediate branches, usually bifurcating digitately into the margins; the network occasionally reduced to a number of dots, dashes and/or short lines.
Dusky dots usually rather sparse, scattered irregularly over the face, but occasionally concentrated along the inner margins and in the channels.
Colours: Face (margins and islands) various shades of opaque beige or yellowish, pinkish or reddish brown, the margins sometimes obscurely banded in a lighter hue. Windows sometimes faintly discernible as obscurely transluscent dull greyish green, as are the channels. Rubrications blood-red or brownish or purplish red. Dusky dots dark greenish or bluish grey. Shoulders as for the margins or opaque light yellowish or greenish grey.
Size: Medium to very large, facial diameters up to 48 X 36 mm, mostly about 36 X 28 mm. Number of heads seldom more than 1, rarely 2.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 35 mm Ø, mostly 25-30 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous, sometimes 7-merous. Profile boat-shaped to rotund, top convex to peaked. Face broadly elliptic, with hinge-rim, mostly ± 9 X 7,5 mm.
Seeds light yellow-brown, smooth to rugose 1.

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* Information from COLE, DESMOND T. and NAUREEN A., (2005) Lithops Flowering Stones, Cactus&Co. Libri


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