Monday, June 18, 2012

Lithops Razzes Universe

OK, my Lithops dorotheae, aka "Dorothy", is in a race with "Audrey", the francisci, to be the fairest of them all. And it does look like she's sticking out her tongue and giving us the razz....

Who will bloom first?? The bets are on, and all I can say is Dorothy's flower is definitely in the pink....

It seems to me that most Lithops do their growth and development at night. It also occurs to me that some of them might like to synchronize, even if they are not the same species, and don't belong to the same colony. In other words, does Audrey's bloom contain some sort of pheromone that's stimulating others to bloom at the same time? That would make sense, in terms of survival. Bloom time is the only time mesembs become really apparent to the crunch and munch crowd. No one likes to be totally vulnerable all by themselves. And more flowers would also make a patch of Lithops more attractive to pollinators. What do you all think?


  1. Makes sense to me! Plant intelligence is something quite mysterious. I remember watching a doco about a winery playing music to their vineyard to help produce better grapes and wine. Plants don't move as much as animals, but I'm sure there's other activity going on, and with all the chemicals they have in their system, I'm sure there's more than meets the eye. Oh, btw, if they're close to each other, it very well could be a tie.

  2. I've noticed that my orchids sometimes synchronize their blooming, but I think it has more to do with season, light, and temperature triggers than airborne pheromones. The most amazing phenomenon, though, is when all of the divisions of a plant bloom on exactly the same day even when they're geographically separated.

  3. gaianursery,
    That's a fun image with the vineyard! ;-) I've read that mesembs in particular like to "bunk with their mates" and grow much better if they're in a group than live solo. So obviously, there's a lot more communication going on than we perceive.

  4. Doc Elly,
    That's so weird about the plant divisions...very quantum physics. Bloom synchronization makes a lot of sense though, bring the insects en masse.

  5. Hmmm. Interesting thought. When it comes to ageing of flowers, ageing flowers do give off a hormone which promotes ageing of other flowers so I imagine it's entirely possible... Dorothy is lovely.

  6. Paddarotti,
    That's interesting about flower-ageing hormones. And thanks for the compliment on Dorothy, she is lovely! The flower, as it turns out, is saffron-colored, my favorite. Pics to follow.