No synonyms are recorded for this name.
Dudleya brittonii is native to Mexico. Its habitat are steep rocky cliffs made of volcanic rocks or either extremely porous and well-draining soils, close to the Pacific Ocean, in climate areas with dry, arid summers and humid Winters.
Dudleya brittonii is a solitary, big succulent made up of a thick stem ending in a gorgeous, big rosette (50 centimeters in width!) of erect, spatulate, lanceolate leaves. The stem is actually a caudex which, in botany, is a basal enlargement of the trunk of some succulent species, with a function of storage of nutrients and water. In D. brittonii, the caudex is always covered in dead, dry leaves. Leaves are big (up to 5-8 centimeters in width and 1 centimeters thick!), erect, pointed, whitish-grey with a red tinge on the apex and curved upwards. Their pecular colour is due to the mealy white epicuticolar wax, which is a chalky and mellow, quite powdery, and has the function to reflect the intense sunlight, especially UV: it has a reflectance of 80% in the UV and 60-70% in the visible range! Also, it has the other important role to preserve the plant from water loss due to evapotranspiration, which is very high during the extremely hot and dry summers of its habitat. The inflorescence is outstanding for its colour, which is completely different from the one of the leaves: it is, in fact, borne on a purple-red stalk, up to 50 centimers tall, ending in a cyme. A cyme is a kind of inflorescence with many flowers, shortly peduncolated and very crowded (like the one of broccoli!). Flowers are small and yellow, elongated and tubular, with lanceolated segments. The blooming season occurs in late Winter or Spring.
Here below are our cultivation tips to grow your Dudleya brittonii:
Put it in a bright spot, exposed to direct sunlight. You may provide it with some shade at least during the hottest hours of summer days.
It is preferable to keep it above 7 °C. During the winter, we advice to shelter it or to put it indoors.
D. brittonii is one of the few succulent that prefers moist winters. Its native climate has, in fact, dry hot summers and humid winters. Watering tips are thus the opposite to the usual ones for succulents: the irrigation should be regular in Autumn and Winter and completely suspended in Summer, when the plant goes dormant, even if the leaves start to wither. In Summer, in fact, the roots aren’t able to absorb water because of the and are very prone to rot.
Choose, as usual, a well-draining substrate, better if sandy and very porous. A succulent mix will do good.
They do not need frequent fertilization. It is enough to dilute the fertilizer with watering once a year.
Repot it once a year, in Spring.
The propagation of D. brittonii can be carried out either through seeds and through offsets. In Spring or early summer, take off the offsets and replant them. Dudleyas should be planted obliquos, at an angle, to prevent the stagnation of water in the leaves, which can cause rotting of the plant. Cuttings should be left to dry out at least for 10 days before planting them. This process should be carried out at temperatures above 20-21 degrees, and the cuttings should be planted in a well-drained rooting substrate, made up of perlite (75%) and cactus mix (15%).
The Dudleya genus takes its name from its main classifier, William Russell Dudley, director of the botanical department at Stanford University.
There are two known cultivated “forms” for Dudleya brittonii, namely: Dudleya candida spp. brittonii and Dudleya viridis. Both of these different species are pale green in color instead of the chalky white. The flowers remain the same as in Dudleya brittonii.
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