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Description

Dudleyas comprise a diverse group of attractive succulent plants, including about 45 species that are mostly native to central and southern California, offshore islands and Baja California. These plants frequently grow in rock outcroppings and on cliffs in the coastal sage and chaparral plant communities. All species have a characteristic rosette form and some will develop offsets that over time develop into clumps of plants. Flowers vary in color and occur on fleshy stems that extend above foliage in late spring through fall.

Dudleyas are well suited to small garden spaces particularly around rocks and in containers. Grow in full sun, on well-drained soils and with little supplemental water. Plants will shrivel and curl up under drought conditions, but easily regrow with moisture. Several species are available from native plant nurseries including: D. brittonii, Britton's chalk dudleya is a striking species with large 10 in. long flat leaves that are heavily coated with white chalky powder. Rosettes grow 12-18 in. across; yellow flowers grow on 2-3 ft. long pinkish-red stems in early summer. D. edulis, San Diego dudleya is a clumping species with 6-8 in. long pale green cylindrical leaves; white flowers grow on 8-20 in. stalks. D. lanceolate, Lance-leaved dudleya produces 8-12 in. long lance-shaped dark green leaves that turn red when exposed to warm sunlight. Colorful red flower spikes hold clusters of orange-yellow flowers 15-18 in. above foliage. D. pulverulent, Chalk dudleya is a highly distinctive species that forms a 10-12 in. dia. rosette with broadly cupped shaped leaves that are whitish green in color. Numerous flower stalks develop in late spring and mature with a chalky-white coating; rose colored flowers hang from inside white bracts.

Water Needs

Dudleyas are well adapted to all parts of the Inland Empire in sunny exposures with normal winter rains and low amounts of summer irrigation. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains often provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates Dudleyas can grow with varying amounts of water; little supplemental water is needed during summer following the flowering cycle.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Succulent, Native
Foliage Character: Succulent, Evergreen
Habit: Clumping
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 6 in. - 18 in.
Width: 12 in. - 18 in.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green, Blue green, Silvery white
Flower Color: Pink, Yellow, White, Orange
Flower Season: Summer, Spring, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Fog, Drought, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Rock gardens, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Borders

Maintenance

Very low maintenance. Prioritize planting them in a location where they will thrive (part shade or afternoon shade in most inland gardens). Some species produce "pups" or offsets. These can be removed and replanted in spring if desired (D). Dudleyas need very good drainage and can easily rot with too much water. They are easy to grow in pots with cactus planting mix, located facing north or east, or in light or dappled shade (S).

References

Associations

Plant Lists