This species is native to South Africa and Namibia, where it grows at ground level, barely coming out of the soil, in white quartz plains or in fissures of red sand rocks, usually exposed to direct sunlight or under little bushes. The climate of this areas is very arid, with a neat distinction between an arid season and a rainy one and around 250 millimeters a year od rainfall. L. magaretae, in its natural environment, is often associated with other dwarf succulents such as Lithops sp. and Anacampseros. The altitude range of this plants is usually between 700 and 1100 meters above sea level. There are only 5 populations of this species and 15 sub-populations of L. margaretae still present in their natural habitat!
Lapidaria margaretae is the only species in the genus Lapidaria. L. margaretae is a small succulent, reaching a maximum height of 10 centimeters. It is a stemless plant, formed by around 2-3 pairs of succulent leaves, hull-shaped, arranged in a kind of rosette, in which the leaves are organized in orderly pairs, perfectly symmetrical, forming a structure with four tidy lines of leaves. Leaves are greyish-blue with beautiful pinkish tinges, rounded-triangular, as thick as wide, with margins hard and prominent.
Flowers are daisy-like, solitary, yellow, growing at the top of the rosettes, one or, maximum, two, for each rosette. It has a plenty of very narrow until being linear, elongated petals (up to 100 petals for each flower!). The central button of the flowers, yellow as well, is formed by a clump of abundant stamens, making a very beautiful effect, enhanced by the flower being bigger than the entire plant (its diameter reaches 5 centimeters)! The blooming season occurs in Autumn. Once the flowers wither, it a beautiful fruit appear: it is a capsule divided in 7 triangular segments, adorned with the withered petals.
Lapidaria margaretae doesn’t require much attention: it’s very resistant and easy to grow. Another reason why it’s so appreciated among succulent lovers, along with it being so tiny and pretty! Here are our tips:
Place the plant in full sunlight or anyway in a very bright place
The minimum temperature must remain above 6 ° C.
The plant must be abundantly watered in spring and autumn. The individual watering must be abundant, but scarce: between each other the soil needs to dry completely. Either in summer and winter, watering should be lighter because the plant is in vegetative rest.
For lapidaria, standard soil ,for succulent plants, can be used, as always leaving a draining layer on the bottom of the vessel.
Fertilization can be scarce: once a month from April to September with a succulent product.
Repotting is not necessary, as this plant stays very small and has a extremely slow growth rate; it’s not so long-lived.
Lapidarium reproducess by seed. Sow the seeds in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, keep at 20 ° C and wet the ground until the seedling is not strong enough to be repotted.
The name comes from Latin lapidem, ie stone, and in fact this plant has much to do with stones. According to some, it is called for the marble color of some specimens. According to others, for the general look, which recalls the stones. Finally, it grows in rocky terrains and is often surrounded by quartz stones. The Lapidary genus includes a single species, Lapidaria margaretae.
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