Desmond T. Cole

Born on the 30th October 1922 in Mafikeng, North West Province, RSA, served almost 6 years in WWII in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Western Desert. Studied at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, completed B.A. degree in 1948, B.A. Honours 1950, M.A. cum laude 1952. Field of study: African languages. From 1948 to 1982 Desmond has been lecturer and then Professor and Head of Department, and in 1988 awarded honorary degree of Doctor of Literature for service to the University.

Naureen and Desmond Cole

He developed an interest in succulent plants in early youth, and became involved in Lithops research about 1947. He performed research on Lithops and Stapeliads and other succulent plants in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Besides his many publications, Desmond has given many talks on succulent plants in many countries all over the world.

Desmond is elected member of the IOS (1971), has been Hon. Vice-President of the National C&SS (UK) from 1971 to 1982, Hon. Vice-President of the Aloe, C&SS of Zimbabwe (1974), Hon. Vice-President of the African Succulent Plant Society (UK) from 1974 to 1976 when the society was discontinued, and Hon. Vice-President of the SSSA, 1976. On 26th June 1967 he married Naureen Lambert with whom he made all the Lithops research.

Naureen A. Cole

Naureen Adele Cole (née Lambert) was born in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, RSA, on 9th February 1935. She studied pharmacy at the Witwatersrand Technical College, and practiced as a pharmacist for many years until she married Desmond.


D.T. COLE, (1975):The case against natural hybrids of W(hite) and Y(ellow) Lithops. Bulletin of the African Succulent Plant Society 10: 42-45.
D.T. COLE (1975):The mystery of Lithops marginata Nel. Aloe 13: 113-116.
D.T. COLE (1975):Variation in Lithops. Excelsa 5: 23-33, 43.
D.T. COLE (1976):Lithops hookeri (Berg.) Schwant. - R.I.P. Excelsa 6: 55-61.
D.T. COLE (1977):Lithops turbiniformis (Haw.) N.E. Br. - a review. Excelsa 7: 20-27.
D.T. COLE (1979):Lithops optica (Marl.) N.E. Br. - gems of the diamond area. Excelsa 8: 2-9, 11.
D.T. COLE (1979):Mimicry in Lithops. Aloe 17: 103-109.
D.T. COLE (1979):Preliminary thoughts on some Trichocaulons. Aloe 17: 67-74.
D.T. COLE (1980):Colour aberrations in Lithops. Excelsa 9: 3-9.
D.T. COLE (1980):A new species of Lithops N.E. Br. National Cactus and Succulent Journal 35: 74-75.
D.T. COLE (1982):Lithops elevata L. Bol. - eliminated. Excelsa 10: 27-32, 35.
D.T. COLE (1984):The enigma of Lithops edithae N.E. Br. Aloe 21: 28-29.
D.T. COLE (1984):Leprechauns among the Lithops. British Cactus and Succulent Journal 2: 71-74.
D.T. COLE (1984):Lithops eberlanzii (Dint. & Schwant.) N.E. Br. - a complex problem. Aloe 21: 60-62.
D.T. COLE (1984):Lithops: facts, fables, fantasies and fabrications. British Cactus and Succulent Journal 2: 95-99.
D.T. COLE (1984):Trichocaulon - the smooth-stemmed species. Asklepios 31: 73-83.
D.T. COLE & H.F. GLEN (1984):Lithops fulleri var. fulleri. Flowering Plants of Africa 48: t.1895A.
D.T. COLE & H.F. GLEN (1984):Lithops olivacea. Flowering Plants of Africa 48: t.1895B.
D.T. COLE (1985):Lithops localis (N.E. Br.) Schwant. - vindicated. British Cactus and Succulent Journal 3: 43-46.
D.T. COLE (1985):Some Lithops cultivars. Aloe 22: 58-62.
D.T. COLE (1985):Trichocaulon felinum: a new species from the Richtersveld. Aloe 22: 6-7.
D.T. COLE (1986):Lithops helmutii - and Harry Hall. Cactus and Succulent Journal 58: 259-62, 278.
D.T. COLE (1986):Migrating cranes and Lithops. Excelsa 12: 4-7.
D.T. COLE (1986):The world's largest Lithops. Aloe 23:63.
D.T. COLE (1987):Lithops of SWA/Namibia. Madoqua Memoir 1: 1-46.
D.T. COLE (1988):Lithops - flowering stones. Acorn Books, Randburg and Russell Friedman Books, Halfway House. x+254 pp.
D.T. COLE (1989):What is a cultivar in Lithops? Aloe 26: 48-53.
D.T. COLE (1990):Lithops naureeniae Cole and Lithops optica (Marl.) N.E. Br. Flowering Plants of Africa 51: t.2005.
D.T. COLE (1990):The Richtersveld. Aloe 27: 40-43.
D.T. COLE, G.F. SMITH & B.-E. VAN WYK (1993):Bechuanaland: a misunderstood geographical name; and the type locality of Haworthia tenuifolia (Asphodelaceae: Alooideae).; Taxon 42: 369-371.
D.T. COLE (1995):Setswana - animals and plants. Botswana Society, Gaborone. xii+337 pp.
D.T. COLE (2000):Lithops deboeri - Lost and found. Cactus & Co Vol IV/Nbr 3: 116
D.T. COLE (2000):Lithops hermetica - A new species from Namibia. Cactus & Co Vol IV/Nbr 4: 156
D.T. COLE (2001):Lithops naureeniae. Cactus & Co Vol V/Nbr 4: 231
D.T. COLE (2002):Lithops coleorum, a beautiful intruder. Cactus & Co Vol VI/Nbr 4: 191
D.T. COLE (2002):Lithops salicola, the world's largest Lithops. Cactus & Co Vol VI/Nbr 4: 221
D.T. COLE (2004):Lithops dorotheae, a tragedy of errors. Cactus & Co Vol VIII/Nbr 3: 202
D.T. & N.A. COLE (2005):Lithops - Flowering Stones. Cactus & Co. Libri
D.T. COLE (2006):Lithops - Two new taxa. Cactus & Co Vol. X/Nbr 1: 57

Prof. Desmond T. Cole
MA, University of the Witwatersrand, 1952

Area: Botswana, South Africa, Namibia
Research interests: Vernacular names
Expertise: Dicotyledons
Families: Asclepiadaceae, Mesembryanthemaceae
Genera: Anisotoma, Brachystelma, Caralluma, Ceropegia, Duvalia, Emplectanthus, Hoodia, Hoodiopsis, Huernia, Huerniopsis, Lavrania, Lithops, Macropetalum, Notechidnopsis, Ophionella, Orbea, Orthanthera, Piaranthus, Quaqua, Riocreuxia, Sisyranthus, Stapelia, Stapeliopsis, Tavaresia, Tenaris, Tridentea, Tromotriche

Postal address: PO Box 447, Lonehill, 2062 South Africa