LAPIDARIA is a MONOTYPIC GENUS OF DWARF SUCCULENT PLANTS IN THE FAMILY AIZOACEAE. The only species it contains is Lapidaria margaretae, also known as the KAROO ROSE.
Lapidaria margaretae resembles those genera within the family Aizoaceae to which it is MOST CLOSELY RELATED; namely Lithops, Dinteranthus and Schwantesia. However, while Lithops and Dinteranthus will typically only have one pair of leaves, L. margaretae has two to four pairs of leaves. Each leaf is 1.5–2 cm long and 1 cm wide. Clumps of up to three heads may be formed with age.
The plant is MOSTLY DORMANT DURING THE HOT SUMMER AND COLD WINTER, only growing DURING THE SPRING AND AUTUMN, with flowering occurring in the latter, or IN EARLY WINTER. It flowers with a single 5 cm wide yellow flower that can eclipse the plant. This flower contains 6 or 8 sepals, up to around 100 petals (always a multiple of three) and 300–500 stamens. It opens during the day, the flowering might be solitary, or succeeded by up to two others.
Lapidaria margaretae GROWS SUNKEN INTO THE GROUND on white quartz plains, in crevices, in red sand or on loose stone. It is usually located on NORTHEAST FACING GENTLE HILL SLOPE IN FULL SUN, or under dwarf shrub in a succulent steppe. It often grows near other stone-like succulents, such as Lithops species.
The most important thing is to repot immediately if it’s planted in potting soil. Like Lithops, Lapidaria will pop or rot if they’re STANDING IN WET SOIL, because they don’t know WHEN TO STOP DRINKING. PURE PUMICE or CRUSHED LAVA ROCK to be preferred. In addition to that, it’s best to plant your Lapidaria in a SMALL POT, ONLY SLIGHTLY BIGGER than the plant to make sure the soil SOIL DRIES OUT QUICKLY. It’s safe to water when the BOTTOM LEAVES START WRINKLING. It can take WEEKS OR MONTHS before this happens. Make sure to water your plant EVERY 3-4 MONTHS OR SO.
It can be hard to judge if the plant gets enough light because they DON’T stretch and turn pale like other succulents. Lapidaria and other mesembs DO BEST in AS MUCH SUNLIGHT IF POSSIBLE, if they’re INDOORS. OUTDOORS you may have to PROTECT THEM FROM STRONG MIDDAY SUN.
It is different from other mesemb, though Lapidaria are mesembs, they DON’T ACT like your average mesemb. They DON’T REALLY HAVE A GROWING OR DORMANT SEASON. Instead of going dormant, they’re OPPORTUNISTIC growers, it means that they grow new leaves if given water. Unlike Lithops and Pleiospilos, they can handle having more than 1 or 2 leaf sets.
How to take care of Lapidaria Margaretae?
Lapidaria margaretae prefers warm weather. It goes dormant during hot summers and cold winters. Frost tolerant to -4 ° C for short periods. Water once every one or two weeks (only when soil is dry to the touch) then let it drain completely.
When the Lithops are in the process of splitting you need to let them absorb the moisture from the old leaves into the new leaves. If you water then you risk the old leaves staying big and choking off the new leaves. You will notice some Lithops leaves bursting out. You surely need to supervise your plant.