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Origin and Habitat: Dudleya brittonii is native to Baja California, Mexico.
Habitat and ecology: This species grows on volcanic rock and other extremely porous soils on rocky cliffs, steep bluffs and canyons in coastal sage shrub and chaparral near the Pacific coast. The general climatic conditions consist of fairly wet winters and extremely dry summers.
- Dudleya brittonii Johans.
Dudleya brittonii Johans.
Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 4: 311 1933
ENGLISH: Silver dollar plant, Chalk dudleya, Liveforever, Live-forevers, Britton dudleya, Chalk Lettuce, Chalky live-forever, Giant Chalk Dudleya
Description: The 'silver dollar plant' (Dudleya brittonii) is a solitary, succulent plant in which the stem terminates in a rosette of slender leaves densely covered with a white, waxy coating (farina). However plant may sometimes be found without its grey, waxy coating (farina), but these plants are not as popular. It makes neat, compact plants with juicy, spatulate leaves of a watery sea-green colour, covered by waxy bloom. Flower stems are bright red and very showy combined with the starry, pink-bracted yellow or orange flowers above. As the plants mature, the old dead leaves hang on and form a rough "tutu" on the main stem. It is the most common in cultivation, resembles a chalky gray echeveria (Dudleya pulverulenta), but Dudleya brittonii grows larger, eventually forming a solitary rosette 50 cm in diameter.
Stem: Short, stocky thickly covered in dead leaves.
Rosettes: Solitary,15-45(-50) wide and about the same in height, green with a whitish waxy coating from the cuticle. The powdery epicuticular waxes (farina) on leaves provided appreciable protection against UV but also against visible radiation with reported reflectances of 80% in the UV and 60-70% in the visible range. The wax in its mealy state on the leaves is attracted to water and coats drops on the leaves and prevents their evaporation. The wax has the highest measured ultraviolet reflectivity of any plant. Wax removal reduced reflectance to that of naturally occurring, non-glaucous leaves of D. brittonii.
Leaves: Lanceolated up to 3.5-8 cm wide, 4-11 mm thick,surface white farinose (powdery)
Inflorescence: Up to 50 cm tall. Stalk pinkish-red.
Flowers: Dull yellow.
Blooming season: Late winter or spring.
Note: 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.
Bibliography: Major references and furter lectures
1) Ruth Rogers Clausen, Thomas Christopher “Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden” Timber Press, 07 January 2015
2) Debra Lee Baldwin “Succulent Container Gardens: Design Eye-Catching Displays with 350 Easy-Care Plants” Timber Press, 20 gen 2010
3) Markus Riederer, Caroline Muller “Annual Plant Reviews, Biology of the Plant Cuticle” John Wiley & Sons, 15 April 2008
4) Bill Keen “CACTI AND SUCCULENTS: Step-by-Step to Growing Success” Crowood, 18 October 2011
5) Thomas W. Mulroy, "Spectral Properties of Heavily Glaucous and Non-Glaucous Leaves of a Succulent Rosette-Plant" Oecologia, 1979
6) Wikipedia contributors. "Dudleya brittonii." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Sep. 2014. Web. 5 Aug. 2015.
7) Bornstein, Carol. "California Native Plants for the Garden: Dudleyas." Pacific Horticulture Society. Cachuma Press, 2005. Web. 01 May 2013.
8) Galvich, Tom. "Dudleya PART 5." N.p, Mar. 2011 Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <http://www.gatescss.org/Newsletter/OG_0311%2OLTR.pdf>.
9) Jacobsen, Hermann. “Lexicon of Succoleot Plan.: Short Descriptions, Habitats and Synonymy of Succulent Plants. Other than Cactaceae.” London: Blandford, 1974
10) Leon, Anastasia "How to Propagate Dudleya." Home Guides. Demand Media, 2013. Web. 01 May 2013. <http://homeguides.sfgate.com/propagate-dudleya-31219.html>.
11) Low, James E "DUDLEYA PART 5 (LIST OF SPECIES).". N.p, 22 Mar. 2008. Web. 01 May 2013.
12) Jack Pahl "Dudleya brittoni" New Crop Report. Hort 5051 <http://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/162315/Dudleya%20brittonii%20Paper%20Jack%20Pahl.pdf?sequence=1> Web. 06 Aug. 2015
13) San Marcos Growers "Dudleya brittoni" <http://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?strSearchT ext=dudleya>. Web. 06 Aug. 2015
14) Stein, Geoff "Dudleyas: California's Native Succulent Gems." Dudleyas: California's Native Succulent Gems. N.p, 25 July 2011 Web. 01 May 2013.
Cultivation and Propagation: This slow growing specie is often grown and makes an attractive plant. Grow it as a house or conservatory plant in a porous mix, or as a garden perennial where winters are mild and summers dry. Dudleyas are hardy in USDA Zoned 9-12, the plant is highly heat and drought tolerant during the summer months and prefers moist cool winters. Powdery white leaves make these plants standouts, but avoid touching them as they are easily and permanently marked by finger marks. All of the plants in the Dudleya genus are known to live up to 100 years.
Soil: They do best in very well-drained, sandy or gravely soil. As an ornamental it is also grown in containers where it stays smaller than its outdoor brethren. In pots they need a very porous mix soil (e.g. 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part of pumice).
Exposure: It requires ample sun, but provide midday shade where summers are hot. The quality of light is much more important than the quantity, the plants contain farinose powder which makes them really effective for ultraviolet reflectivity. Low light situations might be stressful and create a susceptibility to mealy bug infestation.
Watering: Dudleyas are summer-dormant winter growers that require fresh air, exceptionally well- drained soil, and no summer water—even though they may appear drought stressed because their outer leaves dry and curl inward. (provide water in spring and autumn). In the summer the roots are unable to absorb the water so any excess of water simply rots them because of their dormant state.
Maintenance: Remove spent flower stems for appearance. The older leaves of Dudleyas wither but remain attached to the stem. Whether or not they should be removed is disputed, but they provide a hiding place for pests and some growers preference to remove them.
Uses: This can become a beautiful pot plant with pretty inflorescences with the right care.
Propagation: Dudleyas has been found to be propagated through both seed and vegetative, although vegetative propagation by offsets in spring or early summer is not only more popular but it is much easier to do. Dudleya should be planted at an angle. This prevent s the buildup of water in the leaves, which may lead to the leaves rotting. The vegetative propagation process needs to be done with temperatures reaching 21 degrees C. Let dry the cutting for about five to ten days and put the the cutting into the rooting compost (2 parts perlite and 1 part cactus potting mix). After finishing this you then place the pot in a warm, sheltered, but very bright filtered light area with no direct sunlight, you do not want the leaves to dehydrate. During the rooting period make sore to limit water, the rooting will take around 2 weeks, after roots transplant into the growing container. One thing to remember when rooting cuttings, overhead watering is not good for it, apply only to the soil line. The seeds do not need to be covered but do need a moistened soil for germination. Placing them into a mist house at an optimal 20-21 degrees Celsius with sufficient lighting resulting in germination. Germination occurs in just two weeks.
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