Dudleya is the genus name for about 40 species of perennial succulents. The plants are typically found in the low mountains and hills of the southwestern portion of the United States and the northern section of Mexico. Since these succulents usually grow low to the ground, most species of Dudleya form dense groupings of leaves that resemble rosettes.
The succulent leaves of the Dudleya species are generally oval or linear in shape. Usually, the leaves are larger at the base of the plant and become smaller as they approach the center, creating a rose-like pattern. Depending on the species, the flowers can be star-shaped, bell-shaped, or tubular. The blooms come in a variety of colors, such as white, yellow, or red, again depending on the specific species.
As succulents, most species of Dudleya require arid conditions to survive. Many people use the plants as an ornamental border if the weather is mild throughout the year. They require fertile soil that drains well and full sunlight. In addition, gardeners may need to protect the plants from mealybugs since they are vulnerable to the pests.
If someone wants to try their hand at growing Dudleya in a cooler climate, the plants will grow inside a house. Simply plant these succulents in cactus potting soil and make sure they get plenty of light. During the summer months, Dudleya become semi-dormant. As a result, they need little water during that period. During their growing season, they require moderate water and fertilizer once a month.
One species, D. cymosa, is also known by its common name, Canyon liveforever. It has thick, greenish gray leaves that form the characteristic Dudleya rosette and small reddish yellow bell-shaped flowers. Some homeopathic medicine practitioners use a few drops of the essence of the Canyon liveforever flowers to promote positive energy and balance. The essence of the flower can be purchased through the Internet or from a homeopathic remedy retail store.
Most species of Dudleya are not used in homeopathic medicine, but they are used for ornamentation. For example, D. attenuate has large rosettes of silvery-green leaves, and its yellowish-red flowers grow in tall panicles or comb-like clusters that can be as high as about 39 inches (99.1 cm); the plant itself only grows to about 12 inches (30.5 cm) tall. It grows best in areas where the temperature does not dip below about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius).