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Steve Boyd, except as noted

Annual to shrub [(± tree-like or climbing)], fleshy. Leaf: generally simple, alternate or opposite, in dense to open, basal (or terminal) rosettes or basal and cauline, not in rosettes, reduced distally or not, margin often ± red. Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally bracted. Flower: generally bisexual; sepals generally 3–5, generally ± free; petals generally 3–5, ± free or fused; stamens >> to = sepals, epipetalous or not; pistils generally 3–5, simple, fused at base or not, ovary 1-chambered, placenta 1, parietal, ovules 1–many, style 1. Fruit: follicles, generally 3–5. Seed: 1–many, small.
± 33 genera, ± 1400 species: ± worldwide, especially dry temperate; many cultivated for ornamental. [Eggli (ed.) 2003 Illus Handbook Succulent Plants 6 (Crassulaceae). Springer] Water-stressed plants often ± brown or ± red. Consistent terminology regarding leaves, bracts difficult; in taxa with rosettes (e.g., Aeonium, Dudleya, some Sedum), structures in rosettes are leaves, those on peduncles are bracts, and those subtending flowers are flower bracts; in taxa where inflorescence is terminal, rosette leaves may "become" bracts as stem rapidly elongates to form inflorescence. Seed numbers given per follicle. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Crassulaceae


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

D. cymosa (Lem.) Britton & Rose
Rosettes 1–many, 0.5–30 cm wide. Stem: 0.2–3.5 cm wide. Leaf: generally evergreen, 1.5–17 cm, 2.5–50 mm wide, generally oblanceolate to spoon-shaped (ovate or linear-oblanceolate), glaucous or not, tip acute or often acuminate to mucronate. Inflorescence: peduncle 3–30(50) cm, 1–10 mm wide; 1° branches generally 2–4, generally spreading to ascending, branched 0–3 ×; branches 1–5(17) cm, 2–10(20)-flowered; pedicels generally 5–15 mm. Flower: sepals 1.5–5 mm, deltate-ovate, acute; petals 7–14 mm, 1.5–3.5 mm wide, fused 1–3 mm, elliptic to lanceolate, narrowly acute, yellow to red.
2n=34. [Online Interchange]

D. cymosa subsp. cymosa
Generally not cespitose; rosettes 1–several, 3–10(30) cm wide. Stem: 1–3.5 cm wide. Leaf: 3–17 cm, 10–60 mm wide, ovate or deltate to oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, with broad base, glaucous or not, ± tough when dry, margin ± up-folded at widest point, tip ± recurved, acuminate to mucronate. Inflorescence: ± asymmetric radially by pedicels turning to sun or away from cliff; peduncle 5–30(45) cm, 2–8 mm wide, ascending; lower bracts not or ± plump, ascending; 1° branches generally >= 3, ascending, terminal branches 1–17 cm, 4–20-flowered. Flower: petals bright yellow, orange, or red.
Rocky outcrops, talus slopes, less often shaded canyon slopes; 100–2700 m. North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, s Western Transverse Ranges (Santa Monica Mtns). [Dudleya cymosa subsp. gigantea (Rose) Moran] Variable; needs study. Hybrids with Dudleya farinosa, Dudleya lanceolata, Dudleya palmeri suspected. May–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Dudleya, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015

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click for enlargement Dudleya cymosa subsp. cymosa
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© 1995 Saint Mary's College of California

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Dudleya cymosa subsp. cymosa Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.