Lithops karasmontana - Karas Mountains Living Stone

Lithops karasmontana - Karas Mountains Living Stone

Scientific Name

Lithops karasmontana N.E.Br.

Common Names

Karas Mountains Living Stone


Lithops karasmontana var. karasmontana

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Tribe: Ruschieae
Genus: Lithops


Lithops karasmontana is a clump-forming succulent growing up to 2 inches (4 cm) tall and spreading indefinitely. The almost stemless leaves appear in pairs, and resemble two grey stones with brown mottling on the flat surfaces. White, narrow-rayed flowers up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, appear in autumn.

How to Grow and Care

Lithops develop a new set of leaves every year, with new leaves emerging in the fall and growing through the winter and into the summer. In late summer, the plant will go dormant and water should be severely restricted to prevent bursting leaves. The flowers appear near the end of summer or fall, first showing up as a small bud forcing its way between the leaves and growth will begin again. It's safe to water during this period. Heading into the winter, the leaves will still be growing, but you should stop watering, even as the older leaves shrivel up and encase the new growth. In the spring, it's safe to begin lightly watering again as the plant begins to grow again, heading toward their summer dormancy period and the emergence of new leaves in the fall.

Lithops are very slow growing, small plants, which makes them ideal as houseplants (once you get the hang of their watering schedule). Older plants form attractive clumps of "pebbles" in their pots, which are highly prized. In general, plants should only be repotted if there are cultural problems (soggy soil) or the plant has outgrown its dish container, which will only happen every several years… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Lithops.


Native to Namibia and South Africa (the name refers to the Great Karas Mountains of Namibia).


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Lithops Species, Living Stones

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lithops (LY-thops) (Info)
Species: karasmontana var. lericheana
Synonym:Lithops karasmontana var. lericheana
Synonym:Lithops karasmontana subsp. karasmontana var. lericheana
Synonym:Lithops lericheana


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed sow indoors before last frost

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Gardeners' Notes:

On May 30, 2018, Kell from (Zone 9b) wrote:

Per Jan Emming of Destination:Forever Ranch and Gardens, a 40 acre desert botanical garden/sustainable living homestead, AZ. about his pictures above and the plant
"These Lithops are small, less than an inch across each leaf pair, and are so cryptically colored that they are difficult to spot without careful attention.

Namibia has many fewer species of living stones than adjacent South Africa does, but it definitely does contain some beautiful species. This one is Lithops karasmontana ssp lericheana, which grows in southern Namibia and is named after the Karasberg (Karas Mountains) where the Goibib Mountain Lodge we are staying at is located. Goibib is an actively operating sheep and cattle ranch (called a farm in Africa) . read more Check out the variability of the leaf patterns in this species, all of which were growing within about 20 meters of each-other in the same population."

On Jul 23, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This variety is a variety of "Lithops karasmontana subsp. karasmontana"

Lithops karasmontana

Lithops karasmontana, the Karas Mountains living stone, is a species of flowering plant in the ice plant family Aizoaceae, native to Namibia and South Africa (the name refers to the Great Karas Mountains of Namibia).

It is a clump-forming succulent growing to 4 cm (2 in) high and spreading indefinitely. The almost stemless leaves appear in pairs, and resemble two grey stones with brown mottling on the flat surfaces. White, narrow-rayed flowers 3–4 cm (1–2 in) in diameter, appear in autumn. [1]

Lithops karasmontana resists attacks from herbivorous predators by mimicking the local stone formations, in this case quartzite. When not in flower it is extremely difficult to detect. [2]

In temperate regions it must be grown in heat under glass, in conditions similar to those for cactuses. Like all Lithops, it requires extremely well-drained soil.

Like all Lithops it also grows in annual cycles, as the leaf-pairs flower, and then each produces a new leaf-pair that replaces the old one (which shrivels away). The principal rule of watering is that Lithops should be kept dry from when they finish flowering, up until the old leaf-pairs are fully replaced. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit [3] [4]

How to grow Lithops karasmontana

  • Step 1: You will need a pot that is around twice as deep as the root system on the plant. Lithops send down a tap root and this need room to grow. A good drainage hole is essential.
  • Step 2: Place some mesh over the drainage hole to prevent the growing medium from falling through.
  • Step 3: Half fill the pot with a free draining cactus and succulent mix with extra drainage material mixed through.
  • Step 4: Place a little slow release fertiliser on top of this layer of soil.
  • Step 5: Gently place the plant in the container, backfilling around with the soil mix.
  • Step 6 : Do not water for 7 – 10 days
  • Step 7: Water well after 7 – 10 days

General Care Information.

The main problem that occurs is overwatering, usually this is because of poor driving pots or potting mix.

The growing medium MUST be allowed to dry between waterings.

Humid condition are a second factor, good airflow is essential.


A number of forms are available all with differing foliage colours.

Watch the video: How to Water u0026 Care For Lithops Living Stones - Includes When to water, Light, Soil, Fertiliser.