Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dudleya Do-Right of the Mazatzals

On a recent trip to the Mazatzal Mountains of Central Arizona, Lisa Bourey (our local native plant expert) came upon this interesting plant which we could not readily identify. Luckily, Arizona native plant expert Peter Geirlach (or Petey Mesquitey to radio listeners in Tucson) quickly helped us identify it as the rare and protected Dudleya saxosa. Peter is a Grower who lives near the Chiricahua Mountains and is responsible for some of the more interesting Sonoran and Madrean plants in our yard.

Rock Echeveria
Dudleya saxosa

Flowering occurs in mid-April. Looks like we'll have to be going back then.

This subspecies is a Salvage Restricted Protected Native Plant, by the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

Rock Echeveria is a blue-glaucous succulent which forms a basal rosette. It has bright yellow - orange, tube shaped flowers It seems to grow best in rock crevaces with little soil. In fact, Dudleya saxosa thrive in a very small soil volume, and the underground corm is the major supplier of water to the succulent leaves during periods of drought. This would make it an excellent Xeriscape plant.

Height: Height to about 1 feet. Spreading to about 1 foot.
Flowers: Bright yellow tubular shaped flowers which are supported on orange - red peduncles.
Blooming Time: Mid-April.
Leaves: Smooth gray - green in color, elongate in shape, with smooth margins, the leaf tips are not sharp.
Stems: Stemless, densely leaved basal rosette.
Fruit: The fruit is in a group of five capsules, containing numerous seeds.
Elevation: 0 - 7,218 Feet.
Habitat: North facing rock cracks, clifs, with some, well-drained soil. Full Sun. But best with some shade.
Miscellaneous: Flowering Photos Taken near Apache Lake, Arizona. April 17, 2009. It is a host to the Sonoran Blue Butterfly, Philotes sonorensis.

Particulars and flowering pictures courtesy of George and Audrey Delanges.

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