My mom recently purchased this beautiful succulent for me. It's a little weary right now but hopefully I can nurse it back to well being! Heres a little bit of a background:
P. nelii is in the same plant family as the Lithops, sometimes it will even be labelled as a Lithops, but it isn't the same. There are two immediate visual differences: P. nelii does not grow buried to its neck in the ground; and it is bigger than any Lithops. The round leaves naturally sit above the surface of the soil and can grow to about four inches across. Mostly there will just be one head, but very old plants will form two and eventually more heads.
There are some other differences not so easy to spot. P. nelii usually flowers in spring, although some plants can flower in autumn like a Lithops, depending on how they are grown. Quite commonly a single pair of leaves will produce multiple flowers at once, something that Lithops never do. The flowers themselves are large, orange or orange-yellow, and have a great many petals.
There is actually a whole genus of Pleiospilos plants, mostly with longer thinner leaves than P. nelii, less rock-like but still with the same speckled grey-green appearance.
Read more: plantsbulbs.suite101.com/article.cfm/pleiospilos_nelii#ix...