Marcescent Dudleya, Dudleya cymosa ssp. marcescens

About this species

Marcescent dudleya in the Santa Monica Mountains (Photo © Monica Dimson)

Federal status: Threatened
State status: Rare

Crassulaceae, the stonecrop family, which includes many popular horticultural succulent species

Endemic to Southern California

Important Environmental Factors

Precipitation Seasonality

High seasonal variation in rainfall


Basalt and rhyolite rock types

Warm Season Precipitation

Low summer rainfall

Appearance & Habitat

Dudleya cymosa ssp. marcescens is a succulent plant endemic to southern California. It is often found on steep, shady hillsides of exposed volcanic rock and shares this habitat with mosses, lichens, and ferns. Between April and July, it displays small, brilliant star-shaped flowers that range in color from golden yellow to red-orange. 


In recreational areas like Malibu Creek State Park, the plant’s habitat is often disturbed by graffiti and rock climbers, who often tear out the moss that the species grows on. On private land, the species is potentially threatened by development.


Some recommendations by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect this species include preventing habitat degradation by recreation activities on protected land, educating rock climbers on the presence of the species, surveying land for unknown populations and habitat, and cooperating with landowners to raise awareness of the species.  

Other Threatened Dudleya

Data source:
Species records provided by the National Park Service

We would like to thank: Tarja Sagar for her guidance in the field and feedback regarding this model, and Laurel White for her research assistance.