Dudleya pulverulenta (Chalk Liveforever)

Dudleya pulverulenta (Chalk Liveforever)

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.

Links

  • Back to genus Dudleya
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Dudleya Species, Chalk Dudleya, Chalk Lettuce, Chalk Liveforever

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jan 4, 2015, JeffSers from Lakeside, CA wrote:

Very interesting San Diego native. Plant in full sun or part shade. I prefer to not irrigate at all during the Summer months. They do shrivel up a bit but will recover almost instantly when the rains come in the Winter. Excessive irrigation in Summer will cause rot. In fact, it is my belief that the roots take up water more efficiently at temperatures at or below 70F.

Slow to offset but very easy to divide and replant during growth period.

On Jan 29, 2010, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Wonderful succulent that can hold its own in Southern California's dry climate. Purchased too early, several of my tiny specimens in 4" pots sat for months in heat, drought, and neglect that would have shriveled most other plants, but this Dudleya shrugged it off and struggled through summer drought. Now, 3 months after finally planting, some rosettes are 12+ inches across and show no signs of stopping.
Supposedly edible, though low in palatability. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who knows more on that

On Feb 5, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Striking California native with nearly pure white leaves. Rosette up to 2' across. Makes an excellent and relatively hardy addition to any So Cal garden (particularly xeriscape gardens). Can often be glimpsed growing along north-facing steep roadsides as one speeds by on California highways. they stand out like impossibly white splotches on dark or dead landscapes, sometimes on surfaces so steep, nothing else seems to be able to grow there.


Dudleya pulverulenta

Dudleya pulverulenta is spectacular in the garden but particular in its needs. The Chalk Liveforever does so only when treated with the proper conditions. Dudleya pulverulenta should be planted where it will get dry Summer conditions. The rosette should be planted on an angle so that water will not collect. I like planting the Chalk Liveforever into the face of a drylaid rock wall. Dudleya pulverulenta will grow a rosette of leaves up to 2 feet across. Plants produce stalks of red flowers late Spring into Summer. Dudleya pulverulenta is Winter hardy into the low teens.

Ascending flowers and chalky white foliage of Dudleya pulverulenta - Chalk Liveforever. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Chalky white foliage of Dudleya pulverulenta - Chalk Liveforever. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

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This Dudleya 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.

Dudleya pulverulenta grows a rosette of wide, flat fleshy leaves of pale green which age to a pinkish papery texture. It produces one to many tall erect stems which are similar in color. The epidermis of the plant is covered with a dense coating of chalky, powdery "wax". Its pale green or white nodding or erect inflorescences bear many pinkish flowers, each on a long pedicel. [1]

Dudleya pulverulenta is similar in appearance to Dudleya brittonii.

The plant tolerates full sun exposure or part shade. It is susceptible to aphid infestations which result in flower and rosette deformities. Openly hybridizes with several other species. Plant appears to have very good cold tolerance when mature and has survive temperatures of 18 degrees F in a local garden with no ill effects. Higher temperatures are also tolerated well by Dudleya with the white chalky and mealy "wax" coatings, which reflect light and prevent evaporation. [ citation needed ]

Plants are very rapid recolonizers as evidenced by proliferation on roadcuts shortly after development. It is a much hardier plant for the garden environment than the more commonly available Dudleya brittoni.

Leaves grow in a basal rosette and are covered with a dusty, chalky, mealy white epicuticular "wax", as are the flower stalk and flowers. Although wax is usually categorized as a hydrophobic substance, this plant’s epicuticular wax (waxy leaf coating on the surface of leaves), when drops of water land on the Dudleya pulverulenta leaves, the "wax" is attracted to the water droplets, and rises and coats the drops on the leaves, increasing the apparent surface tension of the droplets so that they are much larger than uncoated drops of water, and then it prevents evaporation of the coated drops. When the drops dry, the evaporate is thin and smooth and no longer mealy. [ citation needed ] "Wax" that has washed off the leaves also coats the ground around the base of the plant, further preventing evaporation.


Unusual "wax" coating [ edit ]

Leaves grow in a basal rosette and are covered with a dusty, chalky, mealy white epicuticular "wax", as are the flower stalk and flowers. Although wax is usually categorized as a hydrophobic substance, this plant’s epicuticular wax (waxy leaf coating on the surface of leaves), when drops of water land on the Dudleya pulverulenta leaves, the "wax" is attracted to the water droplets, and rises and coats the drops on the leaves, increasing the apparent surface tension of the droplets so that they are much larger than uncoated drops of water, and then it prevents evaporation of the coated drops. When the drops dry, the evaporate is thin and smooth and no longer mealy. [ citation needed ] "Wax" that has washed off the leaves also coats the ground around the base of the plant, further preventing evaporation.


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