Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hungry Mouths To Feed: The Mesembs from Little Karoo

Today's scan - a nest of Gibbaeum Heathii - 2013, DS
(click to enlarge)

They resemble a nest of baby parrots... or, maybe, something from the Pac-Man family, but, as a fan of weird plants - and weird things in general - this little pot of succulents, Gibbaeum Heathii, always makes me smile. But, I'm not alone in my fascination for mesembs, also known as mimicry plants, living stones, or Lithops (a pretty example is shown here); there are whole blogs devoted to them, organizations developed around them, and, regarding our featured specimen, it's even been YouTubed.

And, yes, Little Karoo is a real place in South Africa... where wild Gibbaeum Heathii is exclusively found, growing amid patches of quartz. Apart from being an amazingly beautiful part of the world, Karoo might also be considered the home of the first humans, the San people.

By the way, the little plant actually seemed to enjoy being scanned - a feat managed by dropping the potted plant in a snug styrofoam cup before placing it upside-down on the scanner bed. My guess? Gibbaeum Heathii loves light so much, it positively devours it... (hence, the voracious, gaping jaws). ;-)

(Note: Don't bother trying this at home -  better results would probably be obtained with your garden variety digital camera.)

And, oh yeah, members of the Gibbaeum tribe bloom!


  1. These are super cool. They look like little aliens.

    1. That's why succulents are so attractive - surround yourself with enough of them, and you can pretend you're off-planet! ;-)