Conophytum bachelorum


Photograph by Matt Opel.

Photography contest, Honorable Mention.


Conophytum bachelorum – a desert plant from South Africa, in cultivation. The plant body is a pair of fused, succulent leaves.


Cute as a button! Now this is not a “stone plant”? Those are related to these?


The photographer did not give me a common name, but after Mr. Robin’s comment, I looked up stone plant. Apparently, Conophytum is one of several genera known as stone plants. As an opticist, incidentally, I was especially interested in the description of Lithops (presumably “stone eye”), which have windows in their skins to let light in to the photosynthetic layer and also trap water vapor.

Thanks, Matt.


For DP Robin, Lithops, Conophytums and several other families of similar-looking plants all belong to the Mesembryanthemum family, along with familiar garden plant like Hottentot Fig.

Where can I buy a box of those? That creamy filling looks yummy!

Conophytum bachelorum was only described in 1993, and is apparently endemic to a single quartz hill in a little-traveled corner of South Africa, so it doesn’t have a species-specific common name. I guess you could call it the Bachelors’ Cone Plant.

THe flower extrudes out of that little slot in the top - see a slightly different species of Conophytum doing this at[…]_0523167.jpg

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on March 15, 2010 12:00 PM.

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