If you’ve ever been hiking in the hills surrounding Los Angeles, you’ve probably seen Canyon Dudleya growing in the crevices of sheer, rocky cliffs. One of only a few succulents truly native to this part of Southern California, Canyon Dudleya undergoes a striking transformation depending on what time of year it is. In the winter and spring, its spiky leaves are plump, green and fleshy. In late spring, it sends up tall, thin stalks from its squat rosettes, each bearing clusters of bell-shaped, orange-yellow, waxy flowers beloved by hummingbirds. In the summer, the plant goes fully dormant without supplemental water, shriveling up to almost nothing, but it quickly resuscitates after a good storm or two in the fall, as if by magic.
Propagated from seed, our Canyon Dudleyas come in 4” pots, perfect for planting in containers (in which case it will need periodic watering over the summer) or popping into the narrow spaces in between rocks. It’s happiest in dappled light to part sun and prefers a little afternoon shade. Excellent drainage is a must. Canyon Dudleya will gradually spread and looks quite at home when planted with some of its natural companions in the wild, such as Southern Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus longiflorus) and Cardinal Catchfly (Silene laciniata).