What are living stones?

The lithops (from lithos, meaning stone) genus of flowering plant, similar to the cactus, is a remarkable species that – although entirely organic – looks like a small pebble. Botanist William Burchell found the plant while exploring Africa in the early 1800s. So-called living stones, these plants grow mainly in the sandy soils of the southern hemisphere, where a rocky appearance serves as a great disguise.

The structure of the living stone consists of two oversized fleshy leaves that have evolved to retain moisture. The leaves have a split in the middle from which a daisy-like white or yellow bloom appears during the summer in its native territory, such as South Africa.