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Dudleya gnoma (Munchkin Liveforever)

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Scientific Name

Dudleya gnoma S.McCabe

Common Names

Munchkin Liveforever, Munchkin Dudleya, White Sprite

Synonyms

Dudleya 'White Sprite', Dudleya greenei 'White Sprite', Dudleya gnoma 'White Sprite', Dudleya greenei f. nana, Dudleya nana

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Dudleya

Description

Dudleya gnoma is a rare, compact, succulent plant growing from a caudex topped with clumps of leaf rosettes, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, of up to 20 small leaves. The fleshy, triangular to triangular-ovate leaves are green, red-tinged or white with waxy, powdery coating of exudate. Each leaf is up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and up to 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) wide. It produces an inflorescence up to 5.2 inches (13 cm) tall and studded with small, triangular leaves. It bears up to 10 flowers. They are pale to bright yellow, sometimes orange and up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) long.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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 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.

Origin

Dudleya gnoma is endemic to Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands of California, where it is known from one single population containing about 3200 plants. Though rare in the wild, this Dudleya is kept in cultivation by gardeners and enthusiasts of succulents, known under the illegitimate names: Dudleya 'White Sprite', Dudleya greenei 'White Sprite', Dudleya gnoma 'White Sprite' or Dudleya greenei f. nana.

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