Sunday, January 2, 2011

Who pollinated my Lithops?

As you know my julii bloomed richly again this later summer/fall. But this year I did not pollinate them, not among themselves or with other Lithops as I had done the year before.

Still three or four of them have grown seed capsules and I am pretty sure that no one else has pollinated them. Since they are on my windowsill all year, it is highly unlikely that "external" pollinators came by. Not impossible of course. A few flies, bees or wasps always find their way in, but I was really surprised to find this:

Lithops julii seed capsule on January 2, 2011

This seed capsule looks different from the others I found last summer. This one is green. Maybe the others were just dried out... And maybe the dried out state is the "ripe" state for such a seed capsule. This one can't really be done yet, it's not even three months old.

I will observe this for a while. Maybe I'll be able to give even better advice to people who find seed capsules on their Lithops and don't know when the seeds inside will be fully matured.

At that I just remembered that I still haven't sowed the seeds I harvested from the Lithops julii I pollinated with a marmorata last fall...
Hmm... another experiment for the coming spring! :D


  1. A case of the mystery julii pollinator, I wonder who it could be? Have fun experimenting and good luck. I expect to see some incredible specimens from you. :-)

  2. I have lithops that have green seed pods.. did you figure out how they are ripe? like what factors would make it so it would be ripe?

    1. Hi skiperdog,
      so far I have always waited almost a year until the seed pod has tuned brown before I opened it. That has always been enough time for the seeds to mature. The advantage of Lithops is that the seeds won't lose their fertility for a couple of years. So you won't miss their best point even if you wait a little longer.
      On the other hand I have heard from people who have opened seed capsules while they were still green and have sown those seeds successfully.

      Spring is the perfect time to sow Lithops so if you have several seed capsules just try it, open one of them and sow the seeds.