Lithops steineckeana Tisch. (1951)
Note: This description is based on stock of over a hundred 5-year-old plants grown from seed by Ernst E. Fritz and selected by him as being most true of 'type'.
This taxon, which we consider to be a hybrid but whose parents we cannot identify with certainty, originally appeared among seedlings grown in the Steinecke Nursery, near Stuttgart, Germany. The origin of the seed is uncertain, though it probably came from Namibia (i.e. SWA, almost certainly from Triebner's Nursery). The plant has never been discovered in habitat.
As might be expected of a hybrid, this differs in a number of respects from all natural species of Lithops.
Profile ovate-cordate; top surface usually convex and distinctly rounded, but sometimes flattened; fissure usually a shallow groove, only about 1 mm deep, extending over the curve of the face from one side to the other; sometimes a little deeper and dividing the top of the plant into two slightly divergent narrowly ovoid lobes; the lips of the fissure sometimes everted, revealing the transluscent tissue of the cleft; lobes usually conjunct.
Face elevated; round-elliptic; lobes mostly ± equal; opaque; smooth.
Margins often absent, otherwise not clearly distinguishable.
Windows often absent, otherwise usually reduced to a relatively small obscurely transluscent area on each lobe.
Channels and islands absent or otherwise not clearly distinguishable.
Rubrications usually absent, only visible sometimes in windowed specimens, a few dots, dashes and irregular lines, quite often a line along the inner margin.
Dusky dots usually visible only in windowed specimens, few to many, mainly in the windowed areas but sometimes also in the opaque marginal areas.
Colours: Face various shades of opaque pale grey, buff or cream, tinged with pink, pale yellow or light orange-brown, sometimes flushed with more intense colour around the margins. Windows various shades of obscurely transluscent pale grey or greenish grey. Rubrications orange-red to rust-brown. Dusky dots dull greenish grey. Shoulders as for the face, or greyer and duller, lighter or darker.
Size: Small to medium, facial diameters up to 23 X 19 mm, mostly about 18 x 16 mm. Number of heads up to 4 or more, mostly 1-2.
Yellow, small to medium, up to 32 mm Ø, mostly 20-25 mm Ø.
Seed capsules mostly 7-merous, otherwise mainly 6-merous. Profile boat-shaped to rotund, top rounded (strongly convex), the capsules sometimes almost spherical in shape. Face almost round to broadly elliptic, up to 8, X 6,5 mm, mostly about 7 X 6 mm.
Seeds light brown to brown; 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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