Dudleya pulverulenta (Nutt.) Britton & Rose
Chalk Liveforever, Chalk Dudleya, Chalk Lettuce
Dudleya pulverulenta subsp. pulverulenta, Echeveria pulverulenta, Echeveria argentea, Cotyledon pulverulenta
Dudleya pulverulenta is a slowly clumping succulent with beautiful rosettes of chalky-white leaves surrounding an up to 2 inches (5 cm) thick basal stem. The rosettes grow up to 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter. Stout, silvery-white, up to 2 foot (60 cm) long spikes arch upwards and bear clusters of reddish flowers in late spring to early summer.
USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Most of the 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. However, 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 the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is found in steep open rocky areas in coastal and inland mountains and desert foothills, such as the Santa Monica Mountains.
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