Caudices mostly simple or sometimes branched apically and cespitose, 0.1-5 × (0.2-) 1-3.5 cm, axillary branches absent. Leaves persistent (withering in early summer in subsp. marcescens); rosettes 1-3, in clumps or not, 5-25-leaved, (3-)6-15(-35) cm diam.; blade green or gray-blue, usually oblanceolate or oblong-oblanceolate, rhombic-oblanceolate, oblong, elliptic, or ovate, to spatulate, sometimes oblong-triangular, 1.5-12(-17) × 0.5-4(-6) cm, 1-5 mm thick, base 0.5-3 cm wide, apex acute to acuminate or cuspidate or subobtuse, surfaces sometimes farinose, mostly glaucous. Inflorescences: cyme 2-4-branched, mostly obpyramidal; branches not twisted (flowers on topside), simple or 1-3 times bifurcate, less often also with lateral branches; cincinni 1-2(-3+), 1-6(-20)-flowered, circinate, 1-5(-17) cm; floral shoots 4-30(-50) × 0.1-0.8 cm; leaves 5-25(-50), spreading to ascending, blade cordate-ovate to triangular-lanceolate, 4-20(-50) × 4-10(-15) mm, apex acute to acuminate. Pedicels erect, not bent in fruit, usually 5-15 mm. Flowers: calyx 3-6 × 3-6 mm; petals connate 1-2.5 mm, pale or bright yellow, mustard yellow, or red, 7-14 × 1.5-4.5 mm, apex mostly narrowly acute, tips often outcurved; pistils connivent, erect. Unripe follicles erect. 2n = 34. Dudleya cymosa, a widespread diploid, is the only species of the genus in most parts of inland central and northern California; it also extends into the mountains of southern California. It forms clumps to 7 dm in diameter. Early floras misapplied to it the name Echeveria laxa Lindley (or Cotyledon laxa). It is clearly distinct from other species but is highly variable locally as well as from one area to another. Although some narrowly endemic subspecies seem almost distinct, most subspecies are ill-defined and their circumscriptions arbitrary. Much more study is needed.