Stone plants, Lithops

Stone plants, Lithops

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Caption: Stone plants Lithops sp. which mimic pebbles. Lithops belong to the huge group of mesembryanthe- mum succulent plants of South Africa. Otherwise called "living stones" because of their shape and markings that closely resemble the stones of their native desert. This camouflage protects Lithops from being eaten by herbivores. At centre left two plants can be seen, and one at above right. These are small plants consisting of a single thickened pair of mottled leaves united to form an unbranched body with a slit across the top. The rest of the plant is buried in the soil. A daisy- like flower emerges from between the leaves.

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Keywords: african, arid adapted, botany, camouflage, lithops, mimicry, nature, plant, south africa, stone plant, succulent, succulent plants

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