Dudleya Farinosa are being poached along the California Coast.
The Southwest Dudleya Dilemma
The genus Dudleya is in the family Crassulaceae which survives in areas that see dry and/or cold periods, often coupled with water scarcity. In California, Crassulaceae is well represented by charismatic genera like Sedum and Dudleya. Both genera have an uncanny ability to store resources, either in leaves or in the root-and-stem-like caudex, to survive sub-optimal climate variations. The succulent perennials in the genus Dudleya(about 45 species) are restricted to southwest North America and are highly prized in the succulent horticultural trade.
Nature lovers have been long-fascinated by natural rock gardens decorated with Dudleya and Sedum. These plant are often locally abundant, highly charismatic, and easy to transport so it is understandable why they are popular with collectors.
Here are some ideas for how we protect California’s unique flora:
- Watch beaches for poaching activity and report it to CalTIP.
- Promote leave no trace ethics.
- Encourage collectors to purchase plants from certified nurseries.
- Obscure geoprivacy settings on databases like iNaturalist and Calflora.
- Report poaching! From CalTip: Anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258 or send a text to tip411. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution.