Physical Description

  • A round succulent plant covered in chalky, powdery wax.
  • A rosette of flat, wide, fleshy leaves.
  • Leaves are pale green when new and age to a pinkish, papery texture.
  • Flowers are on tall stems and are tubular orange, pink, and red blooms.
  • Can grow to one foot wide and up to one foot tall.


  • San Luis Obispo to northern Baja California, Mexico.


  • Found in rocky areas in coastal and inland mountains.
  • Found in desert foothills.
  • Prefer to grow on a slope.


  • Flowers in the spring and summer.
  • Pollination primarily by hummingbirds and bumblebees.


  • Like all plants, it gets its energy from the sun through photosynthesis.


  • Moths, butterflies, bumblebees, and hummingbirds eat its pollen.
  • Rabbits and deer will eat the leaves.
  • Kumeyaay Native Americans used it as both food and medicine.

Interesting Facts

  • It is also called chalk lettuce and chalk liveforever..

Sources: California Native Plant Society; University of San Diego; San Marcos Growers; Clearwater Color Nursery

Photo: Beth Besom

See the chalk dudleya and other native plants in the Native Plant Garden at Living Coast Discovery Center.