Index:



L. hookeri var. hookeri
    acf 'Envy'
L. hookeri var. dabneri
L. hookeri var. elephina
L. hookeri var. lutea
L. hookeri var. marginata
    acf 'Shimada's Apricot'
L. hookeri var. subfenestrata
L. hookeri var. susannae



Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. hookeri



       

Origin:


Collector not named, possibly Professor Peter MacOwan, Principal of Gill College, Somerset East, who sent the type material to Kew in 1873 or earlier. Named for Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who originaly published this taxon mistakenly as Mesembryanthemum truncatellum.

Distribution:


RSA: CP, in a large area shaped rather like a powder-horn or broad half-crescent, based on points NW of Putsonderwater, N of Niekerkshoop, W of Prieska, Strydenburg, and E of Vanwyksvlei. TL not known, probably somewhere NW of Prieska.
Stone: Transluscent quartzite; amygdaloidal lava; amygdaloidal lava with some sandstone; sheared micaceous quartzite. Colours grey-white, brown, pink, grey, some white, red.

Description:


In some colonies the plants have an obviously finer network of grooves and therefore smaller islands than in the 'typical' form, and these have come to be known as the 'vermiculate form'. However, there are intermediate colonies, so the two forms intergrade and cannot be distinguished as varieties.
Profile truncate; top surface flat to slightly convex, sometimes slightly concave; fissure shallow, 3-7 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; opaque; distinctly rugose.
Margins usually not clearly distinguishable, very irregularly incised by simple and forked lines tapering out from the grooves.
Windows absent, the equivalent areas etched with an extensive network of grooves or very narrow channels; in rare instances the grooves are barely impressed and are visible only as shadowy lines.
Channels occasionally up to ± 1 mm wide, usually consisting of much narrower impressed or etched grooves or furrows, forming an irregular fairly fine network.
Islands manifest as very numerous, distinct, fairly small, irregular opaque areas enclosed by grooves.
Rubrications sometimes absent, otherwise obscure and seldom visible without a lens, short lines, dots, dashes, hooks and crosses in the grooves and especially in the intersections thereof.
Dusky dots rarely visible even with a lens.
Colours: Face (margins and islands) various shades of opaque brown or buff or greyish, reddish, pinkish or orange-brown, the marginal area sometimes a little lighter or yellower. Channels and grooves various shades of opaque or very obscurely transluscent greenish brown or grey, greyish or brownish green, orange or reddish brown or red. Rubrications dull dark red. Dusky dots very obscure dull dark greyish green. Shoulders as for the face, or greyer and duller.
Size: Medium to very large, facial diameters up to 46 X 35 mm, mostly about 30 X 23 mm. Number of heads up to 10 or more, mostly 2-4.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 45 mm Ø, mostly 25-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (90%), otherwise mainly 7-merous (7%), or 5-merous (2%). Profile boat-shaped, top flat and slightly convex or peaked. Face broadly elliptic to almost round, up to 10,5 X 8 mm, mostly about 8,5 X 7 mm.
Seeds yellow-brown, smooth to rugose 2, flecked.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. hookeri
acf 'Envy' (1999)



Description:


This form has appeared in the collection of Steven Hammer, derived from seed from C336, and also in some collections in Australia. The plant is yellowish-green in colour, but is otherwise the same as var. hookeri.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. dabneri (L. Bol) D.T. Cole (1965)



     

Origin:


Collected by Cecil Potgieter in 1965 (NBG 79/65), and named for A.V. Dabner who discovered the plants.

Distribution:


RSA: CP, to the S and W of Kimberley, and to the N of Douglas, all known localities being N of the Riet River, and thus to the N of the range of var. marginata. It is probable that there are other localities in the military zone to the NE of Douglas. TL misrepresented to Dr Bolus as 'about 35 miles NW of Kimberley' in a misguided and overzealous attempt to protect and conserve the colony. TL hereby corrected to 'S of Kimberley' (C013).
Stone: Calcrete with some jaspilite; calcrete with some siltstone and fine-grained sandstone. Colours grey-white with some brown, red, black.

Description:


Differs from the type variety mainly in colour and the greater tendency to shadowy windows.
Profile truncate; top surface flat to slightly convex, occasionally slightly concave; fissure shallow, 4-7 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; opaque + obscurely transluscent; slightly rugose.
Margins not clearly distinguishable, irregular, extensively incised by simple or forked lines extending out from the channels.
Windows generally absent, the equivalent areas reticulated by a mesh of slender channels and grooves, occasionally with wider channels producing an obscurely transluscent 'shadow'.
Channels occasionally up to 1,5 mm wide, mostly grooves of about 1 mm or less, slightly impressed, very irregular, forming a relatively fine network.
Islands numerous, mostly fairly small, irregular, surrounded by grooves, usually distinct, sometimes reduced to flecks.
Rubrications rarely absent, usually fairly numerous, obscure and best seen with a lens, mostly scattered dots, dashes, hooks and crosses in the channels, occasionally linked into a broken network.
Dusky dots not visible without a lens, obscure, few to many, scattered in the channels.
Colours: Face (margins and islands) various shades of opaque grey or bluish, pinkish, or brownish grey or greyish brown, sometimes slightly more intensely coloured around the margins, Channels various shades of obscurely transluscent slate-grey, dark bluish or greenish grey or greyish or brownish green. Rubrications dull dark red. Dusky dots dull dark greyish green. Shoulders as for margins and islands, sometimes paler.
Size: Medium to large, facial diameters up to 37 X 30 mm, mostly about 30 X 23 mm. Number of heads up to 12 or more, mostly 2-4.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 45 mm Ø, mostly 25-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (97%), otherwise 5-merous (2%) and 7-merous (1%). Profile boat-shaped, top ± flat to slightly convex. Face broadly elliptic to elliptic, up to 10 X 9 mm, mostly about 8,5 X 7,5 mm.
Seeds light-brown, rugose 2, flecked.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. elephina (D.T. Cole) D.T. Cole (1970)



     

Origin:


Collected by D.T. & N.A. Cole on the 3 December 1967 (C092, PRE). Latin elephina 'elephant-grey'.

Distribution:


RSA: CP, in a small area to the N and NE of Britstown, and thus to the S and SE end of the range of var. hookeri. TL 'Near Britstown, and thus to the S of the SE end of the range of var. hookeri. TL 'Near Britstown among thorny shrubs and grass on the stony and rocky summit of a low ridge' (C092).
Stone: Dolerite; doleritic sandstone and shale. Colours dark reddish grey, brown, grey-brown.

Description:


Differs from the type mainly in colour and in the slightly wider and shallower channels.
Profile truncate; top surface flat to slightly concave; fissure shallow, 4-7 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; opaque; somewhat rugose. Margins not clearly distinguishable, irregularly incised by simple or forked lines extending from the channels.
Windows absent, manifest only as areas etched with a network of narrow channels or grooves.
Channels narrow, up to 1,5 mm wide, mostly somewhat narrower, forming a slightly impressed irregular network.
Islands manifest as irregular opaque areas surrounded by channels, few to many, small to large.
Rubrications generally absent, otherwise barely visible even with a lens, a few isolated dots or dashes in the channels.
Dusky dots not visible.
Colours: Face (margins and islands) various shades of opaque grey tinged with buff, pale pink or brown. Channels various shades of obscurely transluscent greyish green, grey or greenish grey. Rubrications very obscure dull red. Shoulders as for the face, or greyer and duller.
Size: Medium, facial diameters up to 32 X 25 mm, mostly about 26 X 21 mm. Number of heads up to 20 or more, mostly 2-4.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 43 mm Ø, mostly 25-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (90%), otherwise mainly 7-merous (6%) and 5-merous (4%). Profile boat-shaped, top ± flat to slightly convex. Face almost round to broadly elliptic, with hinge-rim, up to 8,5 X 7 mm, mostly about 7,5 X 6,5 mm.
Seeds yellow-brown, rugose 2, flecked.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. lutea (H.W. de Boer) D.T. Cole (1964)



     

Origin:


Collected by D.T. Cole in February 1961. Latin lutea "yellow', but see below under Description.

Distribution:


RSA: CP, in a very small area to the N and E of Groblershoop, thus to the N of the range of var. hookeri. TL 'Groblershoop on the Orange River' (C038).
Stone: Sheared micaceous quartzite. Colours grey-white, pink, brown.

Description:


Not significantly different in colour from the type, and certainly not yellow as the name would suggest. De Boer's choice of the varietal epithet lutea, in spite of our protests, was unfortunate and misleading. It is the coarser network of facial grooves and larger islands, more orange-red channels and more extensive network of rubrications, which distinguish this variety from var. hookeri.
Profile truncate; top surface flat to slightly concave; fissure shallow, 3-6 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; opaque; distinctly rugose.
Margins not clearly distinguishable, irregulary incised by simple or forked lines tapering outwards from the channels.
Windows absent, manifest only as areas etched with a network of narrow channels or grooves.
Channels rarely as much as 1 mm wide, mostly much narrower impressed grooves or furrows forming an irregular coarse network.
Islands manifest as irregular opaque areas surrounded by grooves, mostly fairly large, up to 5 X 4 mm.
Rubrications usually more extensive than in var. hookeri, a number of lines, dots, dashes and crosses in the grooves, sometimes forming a broken network.
Dusky dots very rarely visible even with a lens.
Colours: Face (margins and islands) various shades of opaque grey or beige tinged with pink, brown, yellow or orange. Channels various shades of opaque or very obscurely transluscent orange-brown, orange-red, brown, red-brown or greenish grey. Rubrications blood-red, often difficult to distinguish against the red-brown lining of the grooves. Dusky dots dull dark greyish green. Shoulders as for the face, or greyer and duller.
Size: Medium, facial diameters up to 34 X 25 mm, mostly about 26 X 20 mm. Number of heads up to 6 or more, mostly 2-4.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 35 mm Ø, mostly 25-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (93%), otherwise 7-merous (7%). Profile boat-shaped, top flat to slightly convex. Face almost round to broadly elliptic, up to 9 X 7 mm, mostly about 8 X 7 mm.
Seeds yellow-brown, smooth to rugose 1.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. marginata (G.C. Nel) D.T. Cole (1946)



               

Note:


Located to the east of the range of var. hookeri, and distinguished therefrom by the usually broader grooves which often widen into channels and occasionally even into partially open windows.

Origin:


Collected by M. Otzen in 1945 or earlier; subsequently collected again in 1957 by A.A. Roux, and in 1959 by Dr A.L. Geyer. Latin marginata 'margined, having a margin'. Nel offered no explanation for the choice of this enigmatic epithet - the margins are in no way unusual and are in fact generally much less distinct than in many other taxa.

Distribution:


RSA: CP, OFS, both N and S of the Orange River, to the W, NW, N, NE, E and SE of Hopetown, with several of the easterly colonies just across the border in the OFS. An outlying colony of this variety, or of var. hookeri, is reliably reported near Schmidtsdrif, W of hookeri. TL 'Kimberley, but this has not yet been researched. The TL 'South-West Africa', as recorded by G.C. Nel, is obviously incorrect. TL hereby designated as SE of Hopetown (C035), where A.A. Roux and Dr A.L. Geyer collected plants in 1957 and 1959.
Stone: Yellow-brown fine-grained sandy shale; red-stained quartzite; brown amygdaloidal lava; dark brown dolerite.

Description:


As regards colour the most variable variety, otherwise distinguished from the type by a tendency to wider channels and more open windows.
Profile truncate; top surface flat to slightly convex, occasionally slightly concave; fissure shallow, 4-8 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; opaque + obscurely transluscent; slightly rugose.
Margins most not clearly distinguishable, occasionally a fairly distinct border but with numerous peninsulas, otherwise irregularly incised and indented by the terminations of the channels.
Windows mostly reduced to a system of broad to narrow channels, rarely ± completely open.
Channels usually fairly broad, sometimes narrow or reduced to slightly impressed grooves, very irregular.
Islands usually numerous, mostly small, very irregular, usually distinct but sometimes reduced to flecks.
Rubrications seldom visible without a lens, sometimes absent, often rather sparse, dots, dashes, hooks or short lines, occasionally more numerous or linked into a broken network.
Dusky dots not visible without a lens, obscure, few to many.
Colours: Face (margins and islands) various shades of opaque yellowish, greenish, pinkish or brownish grey, yellow or pink beige, buff or reddish grey, the margins often obscurely banded with more intense colour. Windows and channels various shades of obscurely transluscent greyish or brownish green, greenish brown, greyish red or dark grey. Rubrications bright to dull dark red, orange-red. Dusky dots dull dark greyish green. Shoulders as for the margins, or greyer and duller.
Size: Medium to large, facial diameters up to 42 X 30 mm, mostly about 30 X 35 mm. Number of heads up to 10 or more, mostly 2-5.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to very large, up to 50 mm Ø, mostly 30-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (91%), otherwise 7-merous (8%) or 8-merous (1%). Profile boat-shaped, top ± flat to slightly convex. Face almost broadly elliptic, up to 10,5 X 8,5 mm, mostly about 9 X 7,5 mm.
Seeds yellow-brown to light brown, smooth to rugose 2, flecked.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. marginata
acf 'Shimada's Apricot' (2000)



Description:


This form appeared among seedlings grown by Yusuhiko Shimada, Japan. It differs from var. marginata in its pinkish apricot colour.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. subfenestrata (H.W. de Boer) D.T. Cole (1964)



     

Origin:


Collected by D.T. Cole in February 1961. Latin subfenestrata 'somewhat or almost windowed'.

Distribution:


RSA: CP, in a small area to the N, S and SE of Prieska, with an outlier between Griquatown and Abrahamsdam; thus on the NE border of the range of var. hookeri. TL 'near Prieska' (C021).
Stone: Dark brown banded ironstone.

Description:


Distinguished from the type by its obscurely transluscent windows with very shallow channels, obscure islands, dark brownish slate colour and polished appearance.
Profile truncate; top surface flat to slightly convex, occasionally slightly concave; fissure shallow, 4-9 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; mostly obscurely transluscent; smooth to very slightly rugose.
Margins usually not clearly distinguishable but often banded with a suffusion of lighter or more intense colour.
Windows occasionally ± completely open, usually ± occluded.
Channels narrow to fairly broad, very shallow, irregular, indistinct, often reduced to shadowy lines.
Islands sometimes absent, otherwise usually fairly numerous, mostly indistinct and flecklike.
Rubrications usually absent, otherwise very obscurely visible only with a lens, a few sparse dots or dashes in the channels.
Dusky dots very rarely visible even with a lens.
Colours: Face generally somewhat polished in appearance; margins and islands various shades of opaque brownish grey, buff or greyish, yellowish, greenish or pinkish brown; the margins often suffused with a band of more intense colour. Windows and channels various shades of obscurely transluscent dark brownish slate, brownish green, greenish brown or greenish grey. Shoulders as for the margins but greyer and duller.
Size: Medium to large, facial diameters up to 37 X 28 mm, mostly about 28 X 20 mm. Number of heads up to 14 or more, mostly 2-4.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 45 mm Ø, mostly 25-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (95%), otherwise 5-merous (4%) or 7-merous (1%). Profile boat-shaped, top flat to slightly convex. Face almost broadly elliptic to elliptic, up to 10 X 8 mm, mostly about 9 X 7 mm.
Seeds yellow-brown to light brown, smooth to rugose 2, flecked.

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Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. (1908)


var. susannae (D.T. Cole) D.T. Cole (1970)



 

Origin:


Collected by D.T. Cole in on 3 December 1967 (C091, PRE). Named for Mrs Susanna Bergh, wife of Willem Bergh who drew our attention to the existence of this distinctive form and provided information about the locality.

Distribution:


RSA: CP, in a very small area to the W of Salt Lake, SE of Douglas, thus included within the range of var. marginata and S of the range of var. dabneri. TL 'Near Salt Lake.. among scattered tufts of grass and small shrubs on stony ridges, lower southwest slope of a low hill' (C091).
Stone: Weathered pegmatite gravel. Colours greyish yellow, grey-white, brown.

Description:


Differs from the type in its creamy greenish or greyish-yellow colour, its less reticulate pattern of grooves, and its smaller size.
Profile truncate; top surface flat to slightly convex; fissure shallow, 4-7 mm; lobes conjunct.
Face flush, elliptic-reniform; lobes equal-unequal; mostly opaque; slightly rugose.
Margins not clearly distinguishable, very irregular, extensively incised by simple and bifurcated lines tapering out from the channels and forming large peninsulas.
Windows generally absent, usually manifest only as opaque areas reticulated by grooves, but some specimens have wider channels obscurely transluscent.
Channels slightly impressed, occasionally up to 1,5 mm wide, mostly much narrower grooves, either isolated, in irregular shapes, or irregularly branched but usually not forming a linked network as in the type variety.
Islands usually distinct but irregular, small to large, ± enclosed by channels and grooves.
Rubrications sometimes absent, otherwise obscurely visible only with a lens, dots, dashes, and lines in the channels, sometimes linked to form a broken network.
Dusky dots seldom visible even with a lens, few to many, irregularly scattered in the channels and islands.
Colours: Face (margins and islands) various shades of opaque cream or pale grey, often tinged with yellow, green, pink or pale brown, the margins occasionally banded with more intense colour. Channels various shades of obscurely transluscent greyish green, greenish grey, brown, or orange-brown, sometimes more intensely coloured in the margins. Rubrications obscure dull red. Dusky dots dull dark grey-green. Shoulders as for the face, or slightly lighter.
Size: Small to medium, facial diameters up to 28 X 20 mm, mostly about 22 X 17 mm. Number of heads up to 12 or more, mostly 2-6.

Flowers:


Yellow, medium to large, up to 45 mm Ø, mostly 25-35 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 6-merous (88%), otherwise 5-merous (9%) or 7-merous (3%). Profile boat-shaped, top ± flat. Face almost broadly elliptic to elliptic, up to 8 X 6 mm, mostly about 7 X 5,5 mm.
Seeds light brown, smooth to rugose 1, flecked.

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


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