Dudleya

 In Category Cactus

Family: Crassulaceae
Habitat: Southern United States
Cultivation: Be careful with the watering: the species that  on the leaves have a slight fluff, that gives them an almost “dusty” appearance, should never be wet directly, so as not to ruin this precious aesthetic effect.
Curiosity: The Dudleya genus takes its name from its main classifier, William Russell Dudley, director of the botanical department at Stanford University.

DUDLEYA KEY FEATURES

Dudleya plants are perennial succulents that are part of the crassulaceae family. As far as their appearance could be confused with the Echeveria (and indeed some Dudleya were previously classified in this genus), molecular analyzes largely  differentiate them from that genre and suggest greater proximity to other succulent perennials such as sedum. They have fleshy leaves , sometimes smooth, others covered with a light silver fluff, gathering in rosettes. The color may vary from green to gray. They are small seedlings that rarely exceed 10-15 cm in height. Some varieties branched out a lot and come to form small silver bushes.

As they are fairly small and with little flashy colors, when they are not in bloom they tend to camouflage themselves in rocky terrains where they usually grow. In fact, they are typical of arid and poor environments as soil, like cracks in the rocks or even on asphalt. The inflorescences, however, appear from the rosette, which start from rugged stems and fleshy ones (and tend to be taller than the rest of the plant). The individual flowers are small, with a few petals and star shaped, but the single inflorescence can contain up to a dozen. The flowers are generally yellow or white.

VARIETIES AND TYPES

The current Dudleya classification is fairly recent; some of the plants, in fact, were previously included in the Echeveria genus.

These are some of the most common varieties:

  • Calcola – Originally from the limestone mountains in the south of Sierra Nevada, California, it has small, elongated edged leaves. Their color is light green, but with the sun they take a pink shade along the edges.
  • hassei – quite large for the Dudleya genus, can reach even 13 cm in diameter. The flowers are white and start from the sides of the rosette.
  • brittonii – it does not branch, but forms a single, gray-silver rosette, which can count from 40 to 120 single leaves, all of a rather elongated shape. It has yellow flowers growing on particularly high stems – even 90 cm.
  • Polverulenta – This variety also has a large single rosette, which can be white or silver and whose color has its own name. Leaves are wider, flat, and often end to tip. The flowers are scarlet, an unusual color for the Dudleya genus.
  • Viscida – It is born in southern California and has a very limited distribution area. The leaves are particularly narrow, almost cylindrical and are of a rather light green. It has its name for a resinous, scented and slightly sticky substance that covers them.

This is the list of all 45 different species listed today:

  • Dudleya abramsii
  • D. anthonyi – (according to some classification it should be part of Echeveria genus)
  • D. attenuata – (previously it was classified in the Echeveria genus )
  • D. arizonica
  • D. blochmaniae
  • D. blochmaniae ssp. Brevifolia
  • D. brittonii
  • D. caespitosa
  • D. calcicola
  • D. candelabrum
  • D. candida – (previously it was classified in the Echeveria genus)
  • D. crassifolia
  • D. cultrata –( previously it was classified in the Echeveria genus)
  • D. cymosa – (previously it was classified in the Echeveria genus )
  • D. densiflora
  • D. edulis
  • D. farinosa
  • D. gnoma
  • D. greenei
  • D. guadalupensis
  • D. ingens
  • D. lanceolata
  • D. linearis
  • D. multicaulis
  • D. nesiotica
  • D. pachyphytum
  • D. palmeri
  • D. pulverulenta
  • D. saxosa
  • D. setchellii
  • D. stolonifera
  • D. traskiae
  • D. variegata
  • D. verityi
  • D. virens
  • D. viscida

ADVICE FOR CULTIVATION

Here are our tips for Dudleya care. This kind of succulent does not have many demands, but it is important to be particularly parsimonious with water and observe the vegetative rest period, moving it in winter into an unheated room.

Here is the detail:

  • The required exposure is in full sun: abundant light is essential for good plant health.
  • The temperature must never drop below 7 ° C. In winter it is therefore advisable to put them inside, possibly in an unheated environment (which remains around 10-12 ° C) and well ventilated to prevent insects and parasites.
  • For watering, Dudleya’s requirements are exceptionally small: it will be enough every 10-15 days in the summer to gradually decrease until the winter suspension. WARNING: the species that on the leaves have a slight fluff, that gives them an almost “dusty” appearance, should never be wet directly, so as not to ruin this precious aesthetic effect.
  • It is not a demanding plant for soil. Coming from rocky areas, we recommend specific mixtures for succulent and inert plants.
  • It can be fertilized once or twice a year with extreme parsimony.
  • Usually Dudleya has to be repotted every year. More than the size of the plant, check that of the roots: if they leave little space on the ground or worse still sprout from the bottom holes of the vase, it is definitely the case to proceed to a repotting.
  • It is quite easy to reproduce the Dudleya by cuttings: it is a very small plant with an extraordinary vital capacity. You can use the classic leaf cuttings, or take advantage of sprouts (or suckers) that sprout at the base of the plant and recreate small side rosettes.

Whatever cutting you choose, be sure to let the wound dry before partially bury it (as it is small plants, it will take  8 to 12 hours) and then put it in a soil  with half sand and half peat.

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