Like most succulents, leaves of dudleya saxosa
form a basal rosette, but with a rather untidy, irregular arrangement. Leaves are thick, narrow, grey-green in color, slightly upcurved along the edges, and pointed at the apex. Plants have one to several rosettes, each up to 9 inches in diameter.
The inflorescence varies in height between 2 and 20 inches; the pinkish red flower spike divides readily, branching 2 or 3 times. Flowers have five triangular, pink/red sepals (joined at the base), around five pointed-tipped petals, also mostly fused. Petals are yellow, red/orange lower down.
Two subspecies are ssp aloides
, which has slightly longer leaves, wider stems and petals that are green to yellow, not usually tinged red, while the less widespread ssp saxosa
has shorter leaves, narrower stems and bright yellow petals, usually tinged red.