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.