Ice plants (Lithops), also known as pebble plants and living stones, is a group of leaf-succulent plants. They hardly have any stem and their bulbous leaves are almost fused at the base. Yellow or white flowers arise from the meristem in between the leaves and usually have a sweet smell.
These plants are native to Southern Africa. Interestingly, the mottled appearance of their leaf surface is an adaptation to arid climates. The different shades of color on the leaves are caused by epidermal windows – translucent layers of tissue that allows sunlight to pass through and reach photosynthetic tissue. This allows much of the plant to remain underground where it is protected from extreme heat and desiccation, while maximizing light absorption and increasing photosynthetic surface area.