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Chalk Dudleya
Dudleya pulverulenta
  
About Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta) 42 Nurseries Carry This Plant Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta) is a beautiful succulent plant in the Subgenus Dudleya; in this subgenus, flowers are tubular, and pollination is primarily by hummingbirds or bumblebees. The Chalk Dudleya is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it is found in rocky areas in coastal and inland mountains and desert foothills.

It grows a rosette of wide, flat fleshy leaves of pale green, which age to a pinkish papery texture in the drier summer months. In the winter and spring, it produces a number of tall erect pinkish white stems, which support pale green or white nodding or erect flower clusters; these often open into thousands of pointy, rosy-red flowers. Hummingbirds are very attracted to these flowers.

The epidermis of the plant is covered with a dense coating of chalky, powdery wax. The plant tolerates full sun exposure or part shade. It is susceptible to aphid infestations, which result in flower and rosette deformities. It openly hybridizes with several other species.

Plant appears to have very good cold tolerance when mature and has survived temperatures of 18 degrees F in a local garden with no ill effects. Higher temperatures are also tolerated well by Dudleya with white waxy coatings (especially Dudleya brittonii). Plants were accidentally subjected to 115 degrees F in a closed greenhouse; this caused limited damage to older plants and serious damage to younger plants, which seemed to suffer from root rot shortly after the overheating episodes.

Plants are very rapid recolonizers, as evidenced by proliferation on roadcuts shortly after development. Chalk Dudleya is a much hardier plant for the garden environment than the more commonly available Dudleya brittoni. (References: Dudleya and Hassenthaus Handbook, Paul Thompson 1993.

Chalk Dudleya is easy to grow when situated properly. Plant into rocky slopes or rock walls at a 45- to 90-degree angle. If the plant is planted pointing straight up, it tends to fill with water and die. For best results, give this plant full sun if on slope facing north, east or west; give partial shade if on a south-facing slope.

Surround with rocks if they aren't already present. Chalk Dudleya prefers to be drought-stressed in the summer months and go partially summer dormant, often with only a tiny greenish white area in the middle of the rosette appearing to be alive, and with the outer leaves turning subtle shades of white, tan, pink and purple. If you want your plants to look a little less drought-stressed, Chalk Dudleya does tolerate occasional summer water (1x per month).
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Succulent

Size
Size
0.33 - 1 ft tall
1 ft wide

Form
Form
Spreading

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Moderate

Dormancy
Dormancy
Summer Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
None, Slight

Flower Color
Flower Color
Orange, Pink, Red

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Wildlife Supported
 
Hummingbirds

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 3 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 20° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of garden soils as long as rocks are added and some slope is provided. Soil PH: 5.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Chamise, California Encelia, California Buckwheat, Pink Honeysuckle, Wild Hyacinth, Oaks, native grasses, Yucca spp., various cactus species

Maintenance
Maintenance
Pruning should be limited to removing spent stalks.

Propagation
Propagation?
Propagation by seed is difficult, as the seed is very fine and dust-like. For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
14, 15, 16, 17*, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Steep rocky slopes and rocky walls in chaparral or coastal sage scrub

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 4.6" - 32.7", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 2.84", Coldest Month: 39.3" - 57.7", Hottest Month: 66.0" - 85.0", Humidity: 0.47" - 35.99", Elevation: 3" - 6112"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Dudleya pulverulenta ssp. pulverulenta
Common Names: Chalk Lettuce, Chalk Liveforever


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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