Dudleya brittonii D. A. Johans.
Giant Chalk Dudleya, Britton's Dudleya, Silver Dollar Plant
Dudleya brittonii is a solitary or slowly-clumping succulent with a thick basal stem and beautiful rosettes of fleshy, white to silver-gray leaves covered with a heavy coat of chalky powder. Stout silvery-white, up to 2 foot (60 cm) long spikes arch upward and blush reddish-violet as the clusters of pale yellow flowers begin to open in late spring to early summer.
The specific epithet "brittonii" honors Nathaniel Lord Britton (1859-1934), an American botanist, taxonomist, and co-founder and the first Director of the New York Botanical Garden.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Most of the myriad habitats Dudleyas occupy become dry in summer. Therefore, it is important to cut off water to Dudleyas in your garden during the summer. Plants grown in sandy soils or containers are exceptions. They will accept infrequent summer watering as long as the soil drains well. The onset of fall or winter rains reawakens Dudleyas from drought-induced dormancy. Their shriveled leaves plump up quickly, growth resumes, and flowering occurs during the next spring or summer. These plants are amazingly resilient. If a portion of a colony sloughs off a cliff face or is uprooted by a burrowing animal, it can persist for months until soil contact is reestablished. Species that naturally grow on ocean bluffs are also salt-spray tolerant.
Dudleyas have their share of disease and pest problems. If you can prevent Argentine Ants from introducing mealybugs or aphids to your Dudleyas, they will be healthier. Mealybugs nestle in the deep recesses of the leaves, and their feeding weakens the plants.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Dudleya.
This species is native to Baja California, Mexico.
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