SMWD SustainaBlue Plants


SMWD SustainaBlue Landscapes features an interactive garden gallery and plant database to help you figure out how best to implement a sustainable landscape!  Find inspirational designs, beautiful plants, and landscape design assistance.  

SustainaBlue Plants



SMWD SustainaBlue Plant List:  Download our SMWD SustainaBlue Plant List which features easy-to-find plants to transform your landscape.  The list includes plant links to our SustainaBlue Landscapes website!





Plant Resources

SMWD SustainaBlue Landscapes

Free Landscape Designs with Plant Lists

Sunset Magazine's 21 Lawn-Free Yards

UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars

Eco-Friendly Landscape Design Plans

Avoid Planting Invasive Plants!

Tree of Life Nursery Planting Guide

Las Pilitas Nursery Guide: When to Plant CA Natives

Nurseries that feature low water use plants

How to Care for Trees During Drought

September 2016: Giant Chalk Dudleya

'Dudleya brittonii'

Not all succulents are native to California, but the Giant Chalk Dudleya is!

Did you know that the majority of the succulents you see in stores are not native to California?  Most succulents are actually native to South Africa.  We are in luck, however, as our incredibly diverse ecosystem here in CA does have one succulent genus - the Dudleyas!  These incredible species have evolved a special photosynthetic pathway that helps them conserve water.  Unlike most plants, Dudleyas take in carbon dioxide at night, and keep their leaf pores tightly closed during the day.  This helps them reduce water loss by as much as 90%! 

One of the most striking and easy to grow species is Dudleya brittonii, or the Giant Chalk Dudleya.  This slowly-clumping succulent forms a 12" to 18" wide rosette of chalky-white leaves that arch upwards 1 to 2 feet.  The wax-like coating that creates this plant’s chalky appearance also gives the leaves one of the highest ultraviolet reflectivity of any plant!  Clusters of yellow flowers appear in late spring on stalks above the plant.  Do not worry about watering this plant in the summer, as it likes to be dry and does not like overhead irrigation.  Plant in well-draining soil, and in part sun in hot inland locations.  Giant Chalk Dudleya would be great as an accent in any garden!

Height:  1-2 ft.

Width:  1-2 ft.

Flower Color:  Yellow

Bloom Time:  Spring and Summer

Water:  Very low, avoid overhead and summer watering

Exposure:  Full to part sun

Garden Uses:  Plant as an accent for year round interest, in a crack of a rock or wall, or as a container specimen.


 *Photos courtesy of Annie's Annuals.


 Turf Removal Examples

Hover your cursor over the photos to see the pre/post landscapes!  


turf removal pre post




Growing CA Native Plants


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