As I said earlier, I took hundreds of photos when I visited Steve’s, but I’ve cherry picked the best to post here.
Steve was a wealth of knowledge, kind, friendly, and it was wonderful to visit. His assistant, Oakes, was also extremely kind and helpful in showing off the best of the collection. I’d look at one plant, comment on something neat about it, and promptly be shown two more with even more fascinating characteristics.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit, it’s highly worth the trip!
Tiny, tiny little plants of Conophytum fragile. I believe many of these pots had been recently re-potted by Oakes, so where there’s a fresh layer of sand on top that’s likely the case. These were very subtle and delicate looking little plants.
A pot of angular Conophytum fuciforme – to my dismay after seeing these, I realized I don’t have any seedlings currently growing. Very pretty.
Small clumps of Conophytum globosum.
An enormous clump of Conophytum heleniae! These were all just starting to wake up, just barely peeking out of their protective papery coatings. One lone little flower already popping, though!
Young Conophytum gratum above, and a very old cluster at right. In habitat, Steve told me these old plants with long necks often broke off, and would form new clumps rather than grow into such a miniature shrub.
These strongly resemble lithops in appearance, but are not! Pot full of Conophytum jucundum ssp fragile.
Going through the greenhouses, I realized I have a distinct love for the textured and angled species. These Conophytum marnierianum were favorites.
Same species, but with brilliant fuschia-pink flowers. Conophytum marnierianum
The species Conophytum neohalii is extremely variable, with funky patterns and realtively fast growth to a blooming size. These delicate little white flowers with the long throats were very pretty.
More Conophytum neohalii! Looking distinctly lithops-like.
A pot of particularly dark and dramatic looking Conophytum neohalii, showing off the variation in the species.
Without question, Conophytum pageae is my favorite species because it looks so ridiculous. You’ve probably seen these before on meme sites or on succulent image collection accounts. I was lucky enough to take one home from Steve’s, but getting ahold of seeds has proven challenging.
I’ll wrap with some photos of the selectively bred Conophytum wittebergense that Steve & Oakes have been working on. The extreme contrast and deep coloration draws your eye from across the greenhouse, despite these being quite diminutive plants!
And on the complete opposite end, you have this green-hued cross.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the eye-candy! As I successfully grow my own conophytums from seed, and have them thrive for me for more than a year, I’ll begin posting care articles about them. As with lithops, these have only the one growth cycle a year, where they divide and then prepare for summer. To be sure my own cultivation is skilled enough to recommend care tips for others, I have at least another year or two to go!