Chalk Life Forever

garden, beautiful, flower
chalk life forever- dudleya caespiotos
Creating a western garden with mostly natives is a welcome challenge for a designer, but some clients worry that a native landscape will lack drama. That's when I introduce them to the dazzling California succulent, chalk live forever, native to rocky areas of the coastal ranges from San Luis Obispo to northern Baja California. 

With ghostly blue- green foliage coated in chalky white, it's an eye-catching garden accent throughout the seasons. The rosette of nearly two-inch-wide leaves reaches up and out like a fountain, brilliant against ground-carpeting natives with colorful blooms, like the late-winter blue of 'Centennial' California lilac (Ceanothus'Centennial') and the summer-to- fall crimson of ‘Everett's Choice' California fuschia (Epilobium canum ssp. latifollum 'Everett's Choice'].

garden, beautiful, flower
chalk life forever
Dudleya pulverulenta is sensational tucked between rocks, snuggled up against the grand Agave ‘Blue Flame' or combined with other succulents in a container. Best in part shade inland, it dazzles from beneath a cluster of deep wine Aeonium arboretum ‘Zwartkop’ or the nearly black ebony conebush (Leucadendron ‘Ebony’). In late spring, silvery spikes with clusters of orange- red flowers rise up over a foot long.

This distinctive genus also includes tlie stunning Dudleya brittonii, with a sea-green glow to its broad, chalky leaves, and D. caespitosa, with finger-like dumping foliage. Dudleyas are a part of every native garden I design, and I'm always confident my clients will fall in love with these California beauties.

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