Summary of chalk dudleya and its traditional use

Kumeyaay name: millykumaay

Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta)


Chalk dudleya is a native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Its greyish-green, succulent leaves form a rosette no more that a foot tall by a foot wide. The leaves have a dense coating of chalk-like wax. It blooms in the spring and summer putting out numerous upright light pink stems that contain many rosy-red flowers.


The kumeyaay use this plant for multiple purposes. The leaves are eaten and also just chewed. A decoction of roots is made to treat asthma. To remove a corn or callus, the fleshy leaves are heated, peeled on one side and pricked with a needle, and then bound over the corn or callus. The black seeds of the chalk dudleya are used in a ceremony.



The rosette of a chalk dudleya

photo: Dick Culbert, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons