I came home from work today and just coincidentally took a look over my windowsill...
and on one of my self-grown Lithops gracilidelineata I saw THIS:
Lithops gracilidelineata with flower bud emerging on August 21, 2012
This was one of the first Lithops I grew from seeds in early 2007! And now it is flowering for the first time!!!
I had self-grown Lithops that multiplied (their heads) and that was already exciting (and of course I've had other Lithops that flowered), but so far none of my self-grown ones flowered.
This gracilidelineata is the very first!!!
(And I jumped through the house in excitement for about ten minutes before I was able to take these pics... ;))
Lithops gracilidelineata flower bud on August 21, 2012
The flower bud must have emerged almost over night. I have been checking all my Lithops for flower buds (yes, also my self-grown ones, one doesn't give up hope after all) and this is the first one this year. None of the others have flower buds yet.
If you check the label Lithops gracilidel. here on my blog you can see the progression my gracilidelineata have taken over the years. There were three that suddenly had a growth spurt and I took those three and planted them in a separate pot and put them on my south facing windowsill on the staircase. The flowering Lithops is one of those three.
The other two look like this at the moment:
Two Lithops gracilidelineata of same age on August 21, 2012
It's very interesting how different they look. Theses were grown from seeds that had no Cole number, so they might be a genetic mix of pretty much anything.
The gracilidelineata with the flower bud is by far the biggest one of the three.
Here's a "family" pic of all three of them together:
Lithops gracilidelineata on August 21, 2012
Some technical data to end this rant of a post (which will, of course, be followed by several more... I will document this flower from start to finish, as you can imagine):
sown: Feb 12, 2007
soil: cactus soil mixed with aquarium sand
light: energy saving lamp for 12-14 hours daily
temperature: estimated 21°C (70°F)
germination: Feb 15-17, 2007
first real pair of leaves: May 20, 2007
Unfortunatly I don't know exactly when I took them out of the artificial light and put them in the sun, but I guess from their development that this happened in summer/fall 2007.
In June 2008 three of them had grown bigger than the others and I put those into a separate pot (with pumice) and placed them on the southern windowsill.
There they get full sun and during winter temperatures drop to just above freezing point.
fertilizer: since 2009 they're getting orchid fertilizer in half concentration maybe every two months.
And now, I hope you'll look forward right along with me to my first "own" Lithops flower! ;)