18. Dudleya cespitosa (Haworth) Britton & Rose, New N. Amer. Crassul. 27. 1903.
Coast dudleya, sand-lettuce Coast dudleya, sand-lettuce
Cotyledon cespitosa Haworth, Misc. Nat., 180. 1803
Caudices branched apically loosely or cespitosely, to 30 × 1-4 cm, axillary branches absent. Leaves: rosettes 3-150+, in clumps, 15-30(-50)-leaved, 5-20(-30) cm diam.; blade green, oblong to oblong-oblanceolate, 5-20 × 0.5-4 cm, 3-8 mm thick, base 0.5-4 cm wide, apex acute to subacuminate, surfaces not farinose, sometimes glaucous. Inflorescences: cyme ca. 3-branched, mostly obpyramidal; branches not twisted (flowers on topside), simple or 1-2 times bifurcate, (3-6 cm diam.); cincinni 3-5, 3-14-flowered, circinate, 3-11 cm; floral shoots 10-40 × 0.4-1.2 cm; leaves 12-25, spreading to ascending, triangular-ovate to lanceolate, 10-60 × 10-30 mm, apex acute. Pedicels erect, not bent in fruit, mostly 1-5 mm. Flowers: calyx 4-6 × 4-8 mm; petals connate 1.5-2.5 mm, mostly bright yellow to red, 8-16 × 2.5-5 mm, apex acute, tips erect; pistils connivent, erect. Unripe follicles erect. 2n = 68, 101, 136.
Flowering late spring-early summer. Cliffs and rocky slopes near coast; 0-600 m; Calif.
As circumscribed here, Dudleya cespitosa is a highly variable polyploid complex delimited from neighboring species and not easily divisible on the basis of morphology, distribution, and chromosome number into practical subspecific units.