Autumn has arrived on our dunes, and though it's still scorching hot, gardening season has begun! That means plants are once again appearing in the nurseries, including some lovely new Tillandsias and (drumroll) Lithops. A wonderful non-chain nursery, Rockledge Gardens, occasionally gets a shipment of Lithops, and I found four new ones this weekend.
That's the good news. Here's the bad:
Look at that label. Here's a closeup--
Gack. Now these Lithops were all in pretty good shape, in very suitable soil, and had been watered only sparingly. So the nursery where they grew up had obviously done good work. So why not add a real label? It would not take much time or effort to put the genus and species on the sticky label. Now I'm stuck (again) trying to figure out which species I've got here. There are no live experts on the subject in my area, and pictures on the Web can be accurate, or misleading. And let's face it, a lot of Lithops species look like...a lot of other Lithops species! I can't keep pestering my readers who are more expert by far than I am, hoping for an ID. So I make a plea to nurseries everywhere to give us the data!
But what is this little guy?? I'm thinking lesliei, but it could, just maybe, be an aucampiae. I'll figure it out eventually.
1. Genus and species
2. Origin of the plant (ancestrally, and the individual, that's a big CITES deal for some of these)
3. Specific care instructions. (If instructions are included, they're usually something like, "Full sun and regular water." Your basic Lithops Death Sentence....)
Now of course, the nursery owner wouldn't have to put every little detail on the sticky label. There could just be a URL/QR code that would point nerds like me to a website with the relevant data. But genus and species are a must. And lots of people are curious, not just obsessive nerds like me. Every time I've bought a Lithops I've spent maybe 15 minutes answering other customers' questions about them. People get fascinated. At one local nursery, I've actually been nicknamed, "The Lithops Lady"! So there's really a hunger for good info out there. People don't want to kill these little guys. And a label that says, "Living Stone" is not enough.
How do your nurseries do in terms of giving you the data?? What would your ideal be??