Dudleya identification

Does anyone have a good resource on telling apart Dudleya succulents? They are everywhere here in California, with seemingly many different species, but I am absolutely terrible at identifying them.

They’re hard, and on top of that they tend to hybridize readily.

The only statewide resource I know of is the key from the Jepson Manual, but it might be a little jargon-y for the layperson. And it requires the plants to be in flower to positively ID. https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_keys.php?key=10874

Also many species are very localized, so that key includes many species you could rule out based on geography. There are likely more regionalized guides in other places.

A strategy might be to look up what research grade observations exist near the one you’re trying to identify, find where those species are in the key, and see which one makes the most sense.


There are honestly not too bad, for the most part. Location and habitat is incredibly helpful too. You can utilize https://www.calflora.org/entry/wgh.html and then the “draw a polygon” tool under the “AREA” window to check for species recorded in the area.


My only advice to add for the “what grows here” tool is to be skeptical of species with only a couple hits in the search area. There’s a lot of misidentified herbarium records that have made their way into their database.


This is absolutely a problem…I learned this quickly, after finding some rather unusual listings through this tool. As long as the search area is large enough to provide a decent dataset, I find it is genuinely useful.

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