The thick, fleshy leaves identify dudleya pulverulenta
as a succulent, one growing in hot arid regions of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, where the plant is able to conserve water as a result of a waxy or chalky coating on both flower stalk and leaves. The inflorescence, a branched cluster of small, tubular, red flowers, forms at the head of reddish stalks that also have a few pairs of small bracts (modified leaves) at intervals, with an opposite arrangement. Leaves grow as a compact rosette, identical to the unrelated but similar-looking agave and yucca. The range extends across south California to the Pacific coast. The arizonica
subspecies is a generally smaller plant, with more pointed leaves.