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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Stephen Ward McCabe

Perennial herb, fleshy, glabrous, bisexual. Stem: generally caudex- or corm-like, branched or not, ± covered with dried leaves. Leaf: in rosettes, evergreen or ± deciduous in summer (withering, falling or not), waxy or not, base wounding purple-red (yellow) or generally not. Inflorescence: cyme; flower bracts ± subtending pedicels, < bracts; bracts alternate. Flower: sepals 5, fused below; petals 5, fused at base, erect to spreading above; stamens 10, epipetalous; carpels 5, ± fused below. Fruit: follicles 5, erect to spreading, many-seeded. Seed: < 1 mm, narrowly ovoid, brown, striate.
± 46 species: southwestern North America; some used as groundcover or cultivated for ornamental. (W.R. Dudley, 1st head of Botany Department, Stanford University, 1849–1911) [Thiede 2003 in Eggli (ed.) Illus Handbook Succulent Plants 6 (Crassulaceae):85–103. Springer] Fruit just before opening generally most reliable for orientation; insect damage may cause branching in taxa characterized as non-branching.
Unabridged note: Whether or not leaves of Dudleya cymosa subsp. costatifolia, Dudleya saxosa subsp. saxosa, Dudleya variegata wound purple-red, red, yellow, or some other color at base when removed is evidently unknown.

Key to Dudleya

1. Stem below surface, not elongate, generally simple; leaves vernal, ± petioled (basally generally < 1 cm wide, generally narrowed to < 4 mm wide) — petals, fruit generally spreading (subg. Hasseanthus)

2. Flower odor 0; petals yellow; fruit spreading

3. Leaves 4–15 cm, linear, ± narrowed above base, tip sharply acute; petals fused 1–2 mm ..... D. multicaulis

3' Leaves 1–7 cm, oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, strongly narrowed above base (to generally 0.5–3 mm wide) tip acute to obtuse; petals fused 0.5–1 mm ..... D. variegata

2' Flower odor musky-sweet; petals white to pale yellow; fruit ascending to spreading

4. Petals ascending, 7–14 mm, 3.5–5.5 mm wide, fused 1–2 mm; fruit ascending; leaf base 3–12 mm wide ..... D. nesiotica

4' Petals spreading, 5–10 mm, 2–4 mm wide, fused generally < 1 mm; fruit spreading; leaf base 1–4 mm wide

5. Lower bracts < 1.5 × longer than wide; leaves 7–15 mm, ± spheric to spoon-shaped; petiole narrow ..... D. brevifolia

5' Lower bracts > 2 × longer than wide; leaves 10–60 mm, ± oblanceolate to club-shaped; petiole ± narrow ..... D. blochmaniae

6. Leaves generally < 12, not to ± glaucous; s Central Coast, South Coast, Santa Cruz Island ..... subsp. blochmaniae

6' Leaves generally > 15, glaucous or ± so; n Channel Islands (Santa Rosa Island) ..... subsp. insularis

1' Stem above surface or ± buried by moving substrate, often elongate, often branched; leaves generally evergreen, ± not petioled (basally generally 1–5 cm wide, generally not narrowed to < 4 mm wide)

7. Petals erect below, ± spreading from near middle; fruit ascending to spreading

8. Stem generally < 3 cm between branches; plant generally < 2 dm across; mainland

9. Leaves sticky, appearing oily, odor resinous ..... D. viscida

9' Leaves not sticky, not appearing oily, odor 0 or not resinous

10. Leaves covered with white powdery wax, appearing white; styles 2–3 mm; pedicels 2–5 mm; San Gabriel Mountains (Los Angeles Co.) ..... D. densiflora

10' Leaves lightly covered with thin, translucent wax, appearing olive-green; styles 1–2 mm; pedicels 1–2 mm; South Coast, Peninsular Ranges ..... D. edulis

8' Stem generally > 3 cm between branches; plant 0.5–10 dm across; mainland or Channel Islands

11. Leaves in ×-section round nearly to base, 2–4 mm thick ..... D. attenuata subsp. attenuata

11' Leaves in ×-section ± elliptic or in upper 1/2 round, 4–6 mm thick ..... D. virens

12. Leaves green, rarely glaucous; outer leaves lax to erect; dry peduncle easily broken; s Channel Islands (San Clemente Island) ..... subsp. virens

12' Leaves white, gray, or green, occasionally with red or pink, generally glaucous; outer leaves ascending to erect; dry peduncle not easily broken; South Coast (near San Pedro, Los Angeles Co.), s Channel Islands (San Nicolas, Santa Catalina, San Clemente islands)

13. Leaves ± round in ×-section in upper 1/2, 15–30, 3–10(15) cm, 5–10(15) mm wide; peduncle 10–30 cm, ascending or erect ..... subsp. hassei

13' Leaves ± wide-elliptic in ×-section in upper 1/2, 20–50, 6–25 cm, 10–32 mm wide; peduncle 6–70 cm, erect ..... subsp. insularis

7' Petals erect below, erect to ascending from near middle, ± spreading at tips; fruit generally erect to ± spreading

14. Petals fused ± 1/2 length; pedicels in fruit often sharply bent; rosette white, 7–60 cm across

15. Stem 1–4 cm wide; leaves 15–25, generally 5–15 cm; pedicels 5–15(20) mm; flowers generally erect ..... D. arizonica

15' Stem 4–9 cm wide; leaves 40–60, 8–25(27) cm; pedicels 5–30(35) mm; flowers pendent ..... D. pulverulenta

14' Petals fused < 1/3 length; pedicels in fruit not sharply bent; rosette green or white, 0.5–55 cm across

16. Petals adaxially cream, white, or pale yellow, margins ± jagged or not; petal keel ± not raised, ± marked with red-pink or purple

17. Stem often > 8 cm, 10–80 mm wide; peduncle 4.5–54 cm; leaf 2.5–22 cm

18. Stem swollen at base; leaf ± thin; rosettes generally 1 ..... D. candelabrum

18' Stem not swollen at base; leaf ± thick; rosettes 1–100+

19. Leaf tip generally obtuse, margin with >= 2 angles between ad-, abaxial surfaces; upper margins of adjacent petals not touching; North Coast, n&c Central Coast ..... D. farinosa

19' Leaf tip generally acute, margin with 0–1(2) angles between ad-, abaxial surfaces; upper margins of adjacent petals generally touching; n Channel Islands ..... D. greenei

17' Stem < 8 cm, 1.5–30 mm wide; peduncle 2–25(40) cm; leaf 0.5–11 cm

20. Leaf wounding red or purple-red at base; inflorescence 1° branches generally simple

21. Leaf ± deciduous in summer, ± round in ×-section; petals often purple-tinged near tip, with few purple flecks; s Central Coast, s Outer South Coast Ranges (San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... D. abramsii subsp. bettinae

21' Leaf generally dry but ± not deciduous in summer; ± elliptic in ×-section; petals not purple-tinged near tip, with purple-flecks throughout or not

22. Lower bracts 10–30 mm; s Outer South Coast Ranges (San Luis Obispo Co.); on serpentine ..... D. abramsii subsp. murina

22' Lower bracts 4–15 mm; s High Sierra Nevada, Peninsular Ranges; not on serpentine, generally on granite ..... D. abramsii subsp. abramsii

20' Leaf generally not wounding red or purple-red at base; inflorescence 1° branches simple to branched

23. Leaf triangular to triangular-ovate; petals pale yellow to medium yellow; insular (Santa Rosa Island) ..... D. gnoma (2)

23' Leaf not triangular to triangular-ovate; petals ± pale yellow; not insular

24. Rosettes 1–few; not on granite or limestone, often on serpentine or volcanics

25. Inflorescence 1° branches generally simple; pedicels 2–7 mm; peduncle 5–20 cm; se San Francisco Bay Area (s Santa Clara Valley); on serpentine ..... D. abramsii subsp. setchellii

25' Inflorescence 1° branches often branched; pedicels 3–12 mm; peduncle 5–25(40) cm; San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Inner South Coast Ranges (Contra Costa Co. to w Fresno Co.); on serpentine or not ..... D. cymosa subsp. paniculata

24' Rosettes 1–50; on granite or limestone

26. Leaves lance-oblong to lanceolate to subcylindric; inflorescence 1° branches generally branched; s High Sierra Nevada ..... D. abramsii subsp. calcicola

26' Leaves elliptic to oblanceolate; inflorescence 1° branches generally simple; San Bernardino Mountains ..... D. abramsii subsp. affinis

16' Petals adaxially red, orange, yellow, yellow-green, or bright yellow-green, margins entire; petal keel often raised, rarely marked with red-pink or purple

27. Plant stoloned or stem branched; fruit ascending

28. Plant stoloned; c South Coast (San Joaquin Hills, Orange Co.) ..... D. stolonifera

28' Plant stem branched; Channel Islands (Santa Barbara Co.) ..... D. traskiae

27' Plant simple or branched by stems; fruit ± erect

29. Plant generally < 10 cm wide (except in deep shade or years with high rainfall); leaves 0.8–3 × longer than wide

30. Peduncle erect, inflorescence ± symmetric radially, 1° branches generally 3

31. Internodes between bracts < 5 mm ..... D. cymosa subsp. crebrifolia (2)

31' Internodes between bracts generally > 5 mm ..... D. cymosa subsp. pumila

30' Peduncle ascending, inflorescence ± asymmetric radially, sometimes by pedicels turning to sun or away from cliff, 1° branches (0)2–3 (or, if peduncle erect and inflorescence symmetric radially, 1° branches generally 2)

32. Leaves in summer ± deciduous, papery when dry; bracts plump ..... D. cymosa subsp. marcescens

32' Leaves in summer ± not deciduous, ± tough when dry; bracts not or ± plump

33. Leaves adaxially dark green, abaxially ± red; bracts ± spreading ..... D. cymosa subsp. ovatifolia

33' Leaves adaxially, abaxially ± equally colored; bracts ascending

34. Leaves oblong to lanceolate, tips acute; petals bright yellow; inflorescence branches 2(3); s Western Transverse Ranges (Santa Monica Mtns) ..... D. cymosa subsp. agourensis (2)

34' Leaves ovate or deltate to oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, tips acuminate to mucronate; petals bright yellow, orange, or red; inflorescence branches generally >= 3; North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, s Western Transverse Ranges (Santa Monica Mtns) ..... D. cymosa subsp. cymosa

29' Plant 0.5–100 cm+ wide; leaves (2.5)3–10 × longer than wide

35. Stem generally 0.15–2 cm wide; 1° inflorescence branches generally 2, branched generally 0–1 ×

36. Leaves deciduous in summer; n-facing volcanic cliffs, adjacent grassland; Western Transverse Ranges (n of Santa Monica Mtns) ..... D. parva

36' Leaves dry in summer but ± not deciduous; level or sloping habitats of various orientations; n Channel Islands, Western Transverse Ranges (Santa Monica Mtns)

37. Leaves white, 5–13 mm; n Channel Islands (Santa Rosa Island) ..... D. gnoma (2)

37' Leaves gray-white or white with some purple-red to gray-green showing through wax, 20–100 mm; mainland

38. Leaves generally twisted when dry, base wounding purple-red; flower bud tips angled ± 35°; petals green- to lemon-yellow ..... D. verityi

38' Leaves occasionally twisted when dry, base not or ± wounding purple-red; flower bud tips angled >= 50°; petals bright yellow ..... D. cymosa subsp. agourensis (2)

35' Stem 1–10 cm wide; 1° inflorescence branches generally >= 3, branched 0–3 ×

39. Rosettes 5–40, dense; leaves 2.5–8 mm wide, linear to linear-oblanceolate ..... D. cymosa subsp. costatifolia

39' Rosettes 1–100, generally not dense; leaves generally > 8 mm wide, lanceolate to oblanceolate

40. Stem of older plants often exposed between dried leaves; leaves adaxially generally convex (transversely), tip margins generally not angled between ad-, abaxial surfaces; petals bright yellow (orange-yellow) ..... D. caespitosa

40' Stem of older plants covered by dried leaves; leaves adaxially flat or convex (transversely), tip margins often angled between ad-, abaxial surfaces; petals bright yellow, red, tinged with red, red over yellow but appearing orange-pink, ± green, or green-yellow

41. Stem (2)4–10 cm wide; peduncle 15–85 cm; petals red over yellow but appearing orange-pink ..... D. palmeri

41' Stem 1–3 cm wide; peduncle 5–95 cm; petals bright yellow, red over yellow but appearing orange-pink, mustard-, or green-yellow

42. Internodes between bracts < 5 mm ..... D. cymosa subsp. crebrifolia (2)

42' Internodes between bracts > 5 mm

43. Leaves 5–30 cm, 1–4 cm wide; peduncle 1.5–9.5 dm; petals fused 1–2 mm ..... D. lanceolata

43' Leaves 3–15 cm, 0.3–2.5 cm wide; peduncle 0.5–5.1 dm; petals fused 1–4 mm ..... D. saxosa

44. Stem 1–3 cm wide; leaves 4–15 cm; peduncle 1–5.1 dm; petals ± green, green-yellow, or bright yellow, rarely red-tinged ..... subsp. aloides

44' Stem 1–1.5 cm wide; leaves 3–9 cm; peduncle 0.5–2 dm; petals bright yellow, generally red-tinged ..... subsp. saxosa


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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