Dudleya pachyphytum


No synonyms are recorded for this name.


Dudleya pachyphytum grows on north facing rocky cliffs on the frequently foggy north western slopes of Cedros Island, located in the Pacific Ocean, west of Baja California. This species has been recently discovered because the northern area of Cedros Island is rather inaccessible part of the island, and the island itself is rather isolated.


Dudleya pachyphytum is a small, ground-hugging succulent, up to 30 centimeters tall. Its stem can be considered a caudex, being very thick and short, and having the function of nutrients and water storage. From this stem, many short branches are formed, each one bearing a rosette. These rosettes are filled in numerous, tongue-shaped, bluish-grey leaves, with bright green tinges. They usually reach 5-10 centimters in width. Leaves are very different in shape from the usual leaves of Dudleyas, being tongue shaped and very thick, almost cylindrical, and elongated, with a rounded apex, unlikely to the frequently pointed ones typical of Dudleyas.


Here below are our cultivation tips to grow your Dudleya pachyphytum:

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. pachyphytum 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.
Repotting can be carried out once every two years, as D. pachyphytum grows more slowly than other Dudleyas.


The propagation of D. pachyphytum 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 owes its name to William Russell Dudley, director of the botanical department at Stanford University. The species name “pachyphytum”, instead, was given to this plant when Reid Moran and Michael Benedict classified it for the first time, in May 1981, in the Cactus and Succulent Society of America Journal. The name comes from the Latin words “Pachy”, that means “thick”, “big”, and “Phytum”, meaning “plant”. There is also another genus of plants called Pachyphytum but this seem to be a coincidence, as the name of this Dudleya was only meant to describe the plant and wasn’t a reference to the other genus.

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