The Lithops julii subsp. fulleri specimen in this photo is wrinkled from using up water stored in the succulent leaves. It is now February, coming to the end of a long, hot summer. The plant has been exposed to unrelenting full sun for its daytime life, a challenge in the summer weather of this habitat. The remains of last winter’s flower have largely disappeared.
Proper identification of the plant will only be complete when it is determined which of the three varieties of L. julii subsp. fulleri this might be. There is also a subsp. julii. In all, there are 36 species, 15 subspecies and 36 variations of Lithops; a fair(?) challenge to students and collectors. Especially when just spotting one of the tiny plants among the pebbles of its mostly bare and barren habitat is such a challenge!
The inner margins of L. julii leaves sometimes have a reddish colour or are otherwise conspicuous, giving rise to common names such as parched lips and hotlips (Smith, et al, 1997; Smith, et al, 1998).