Dudleya pulverulenta is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it is found in rocky areas in coastal and inland mountains and desert foothills.It grows a rosette of wide, flat fleshy leaves of pale green which age to a pinkish papery texture in the drier summer months. In the winter and spring, it produces a number of tall erect pinkish white stems, which support often thousands of pointy, rosy-red flowers.. Hummingbirds are very attracted to these flowers. The epidermis of the plant is covered with a dense coating of chalky, powdery wax. Its pale green or white nodding or erect flower clusters bear many pinkish flowers. The plant tolerates full sun exposure or part shade.
It is susceptible to aphid infestations which result in flower and rosette deformities. It openly hybridizes with several other species. Plant appears to have very good cold tolerance when mature and has survived temperatures of 18 degrees F in a local garden with no ill effects. Higher temperatures are also tolerated well by Dudleya with the white waxy coatings, especially Dudleya brittonii. Plants were accidentally subjected to 115 degrees F in a closed greenhouse with limited damage to older plants and serious damage to younger plants that seem to suffer from root rot shortly after the overheating episodes. Plants are very rapid recolonizers as evidenced by proliferation on roadcuts shortly after development. A much hardier plant for the garden environment than the more commonly available Dudleya brittoni. References: Dudleya and Hassenthaus Handbook, Paul Thompson 1993.
Chalk Dudleyas are easy to grow when situated properly. Plant at a 45 to 90 degree angle into rocky slopes or rock walls. If the plant is planted pointing straight up, it tends to fill with water and die. For best results, give this plant full sun if on north, east or west facing slopes, and partial shade if on a south facing slope. Surround with rocks if they aren't already there. It prefers to be drought-stressed in the summer months, and go partially summer dormant, often with only a tiny greenish white area in the middle of the rosette appearing to be alive, and with the outer leaves turning subtle shades of white, tan, pink and purple. If you want your plants to look a little less drought-stressed, Chalk dudleyas tolerate occasional summer water (1x per month).