Titanopsis calcarea

Botanical Name

Titanopsis calcarea

Other names

Sheep's tongue, jewel plant, living stone, skilpadvoetjie (Afrikaans), kalkvygie (Afrikaans)


Mesembrianthemaceae, formerly Aizoaceae


A small and low succulent, growing in clumps of basal rosettes of around 8 cm in diameter, usually under 10cm; from the name: 'looking like limestone', blending with its typical environment of small rocks and sandy earth; described as living rocks

Description of Stem


Description of Leaves

Grey-green leaves of up to 2,5cm with irregular to round, wart-like patches or tubercles at each broad, truncate leaf apex, varying in colour from whitish, beige, red or grey, varying according to the geographic area where it is found

Description of flowers

Yellow mesem-type flowers of nearly 2cm in diameter; the inner flower part characteristically erect

Description of seed/fruit

Persistent star-shaped capsule, cracking open in a characteristic pattern

Description of roots




Propagation and Cultivation

Grown from seed or by dividing clumps, as potted plants on window sills or in dry gardens; low watering, a little more in winter, the plant's growing season; grows in full sun apart from the height of summer, when some shade is beneficial


Heat and cold tolerant; will grow in varying soil acidity


The most commonly cultivated garden plant of the genus;

Ecological rarity


Pests and Diseases



A variation with irregular looking flowers exists


Dry, semi-desert and Karoid type open veld in full or much sun of varying acidity


Northern Cape


South Africa