Giant Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya brittonii) in the Dudleyas Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Giant Chalk Dudleya
Give a thumbs up Silver Dollar Plant
Give a thumbs up Siempreviva
Give a thumbs up Britton's Dudleya

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Plant Height: 15 inches
Plant Spread: 30 inches
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Leaves may display a powdery bloom
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Yellow
Other: Masses of flowers are borne on 3 ft. stems
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Offsets
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Goes Dormant

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Comments:
Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Jan 3, 2016 8:41 PM

There are two versions of this rosette succulent, a powder-dusted blue one and a powder-free pale green one. Different looking but the flower is almost identical so they have been lumped. Both are found in northwestern Baja California distributed along the immediate vicinity of the coast, roughly from Rosarito to Puerto Santo Tomás. This location has an exceptionally mild, often foggy climate with dry summers and wet winters.

In cultivation and in nature, these plants obey a natural cycle of summer dormancy and winter growth, so they will look quite different depending on the time of year. They like excellent drainage (they grow on almost pure rock in habitat) and will do well in a surprisingly broad range of containers, being dwarfed by smaller ones and exuberant in larger ones, as long as they are provided strong light. Very drought tolerant (months of summer drought is normal in habitat).

Here in habitat they flower from early winter through early summer, roughly, depending on water availability. Small, tubular flowers borne in clusters above the plant attract hummingbirds. Will grow a stem (covered in dead leaves and flower stalks) over time. Normally solitary, especially the white northern form (ie. only from seed), but there is a green-leaved population toward the south of the plant's range which branches dichotomously and forms impressively large clusters over time. Individual rosettes of either form can easily be grown from short-stemmed cuttings.

This plant is self-seeding in my container garden. Seedlings can be reliably transplanted when they are thumbnail-sized and can grow to full size within about one season.

The white form of D. brittonii may look vegetatively similar to D. pulverenta, but its flowers are different (among other ways greenish yellow, not red). D. brittonii can be one of the parents of the naturally occurring hybrid D. x semiteres, along with D. attenuata orcutti. The green form of D. brittonii may be difficult to resolve from D. ingens, which grows further to the south, especially when not in flower.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Oct 26, 2011 2:03 PM

These sun-loving plants are best kept dry in winter. They hybridize freely in the wild.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Dudleya brittonii by valleylynn Oct 1, 2016 10:36 PM 10
Seedling followup by Baja_Costero Feb 21, 2018 6:07 PM 1
Very Interesting by tx_flower_child May 6, 2018 7:37 PM 1
Odd Duck - Dudleya palm by OldBlue Sep 12, 2019 11:36 PM 3
Show off your glaucous grays! by Jai_Ganesha Dec 15, 2018 5:45 PM 99
Checkbox for invasive plants? by Faerygardener Mar 26, 2018 11:19 AM 9
Which cacti/succulents do you grow from seed? by Jai_Ganesha Jan 30, 2018 6:55 AM 11
Floral Alphabet Soup: the Letter D! by KatEnns Jan 8, 2018 5:11 AM 36
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_Costero Dec 12, 2019 7:36 AM 6,032
Drought Resistant / Low Water Plants, Shrubs and Ground Cover for zipcode 94571 by ms1 Nov 21, 2016 10:38 AM 3
Cactus and Succulent chat 2016 by gg5 Apr 11, 2017 11:52 AM 1,827

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