Dudleya pachyphytum R.Moran & M.Benedict
Cedros Island Liveforever
Dudleya pachyphytum is a slowly-clumping succulent with has thick basal stem from which arise many branches bearing rosettes of bluish-grey leaves with a beautiful white waxy coating. It grows up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall and up to 2 feet (60 cm0 wide. The rosettes are up to 10 inches in diameter. Leaves are thick, somewhat blunt at the tips, and rounded at the edges. In mid-summer appears the long inflorescence, slightly pink at the base but otherwise covered with the same white coating as the leaves and bears tight cymes of pale green to whitish flowers. The flowers are barely open but decorated with the same white waxy coating as the inflorescence stems and leaves.
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 various 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 following 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 Mexico (Baja California).
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