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Dudleya pulverulenta (Chalk Liveforever)

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Scientific Name

Dudleya pulverulenta (Nutt.) Britton & Rose

Common Names

Chalk Liveforever, Chalk Dudleya, Chalk Lettuce

Synonyms

Dudleya pulverulenta subsp. pulverulenta, Echeveria pulverulenta (basionym), Echeveria argentea, Cotyledon pulverulenta

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Dudleya pulverulenta is a slowly clumping succulent with beautiful rosettes, up to 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter, of chalky-white leaves surrounding a up to 2 inches (5 cm) thick basal stem. 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.

Hardiness

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 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 pulverulenta is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where 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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