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Products > Dudleya brittonii
Dudleya brittonii - Giant Chalk Dudleya
Image of Dudleya brittonii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Baja California (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Dudleya brittonii (Giant Chalk Dudleya) A solitary or low slowly-clumping succulent with a beautiful 12 to 18 inch wide rosette of chalky-white leaves surrounding a thick basal stem. Stout silvery-white 1 to 2 foot long spikes arch upward and blush red as the clusters of yellow flowers begin to open in late spring to early summer. Plant in a well-drained soil in full sun along the coast but looks best with part sun in hotter inland locations. This plant can tolerate garden conditions better than the similar looking Dudleya pulverulenta but it is still best if one keeps this plant dry in summer months and particularly avoid overhead irrigation during this time this plant tolerates going without irrigation in summer in coastal gardens but can look better with a careful infrequent watering below the foliage does not seem to cup the water the same way that Dudleya pulverulenta does. Hardy to around 15 F or slightly below. This is a great plant for the rock garden, a crack in a rock or wall or as a container specimen. This species is native to coastal areas of the Pacific side of Baja California between Tijuana & Ensenada and on Isla Todos Santos where it grows on cliffs and hilly areas in lava rock and other very porous soils. The genus was named for William R. Dudley (1849-1911) a botanist at Stanford University and the specific epithet honors Nathaniel Lord Britton (1859-1934), botanist and first Director of the New York Botanical Garden. Dr. Britton is also famous for his collaboration with Joseph Nelson Rose of the Carnegie Institute on The Cactaceae, a four-volume work started in 1906 and published in 1924. There are green forms of this plant but the plant we grow is a dusty chalky-white color. The coating that gives this plant this look is a wax-like substance on the surface of the cuticle that gives the leaves one of the highest ultraviolet reflectivity of any plant. This plant was first described by Dr. Donald A. Johansen, a Stanford Botanist, in 1933 in the Cactus and Succulent Journal of American (4:311) and an image graced the cover of the July 1973 issue of the California Horticultural Journal (Vol. 34 No. 3), the predecessor to Pacific Horticulture. Our plants from seed off of a Huntington Botanic Garden collection (HBG 71521) that was from an anonymous seed collection made at Rancho La Salina, between Tijuana & Ensenada.  The information presented on this page is based on research we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations of it growing in our nursery crops, as well as in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we visit. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they include cultural information that would aid others in growing Dudleya brittonii.