Lewisia rediviva (Bitter Root)

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Scientific Name

Lewisia longipetala (Piper) S. Clay

Common Names

Bitter Root

Synonyms

Lewisia rediviva var. rediviva, Lewisia alba

Scientific Classification

Family: Montiaceae
Genus: Lewisia

Flower

Color: Whitish to deep pink or lavender
Bloom Time: April through July

Description

Lewisia rediviva is a low-growing, perennial plant with a fleshy taproot and a simple or branched base. The flower stems are leafless, up to 1.2 inch (3 cm) tall, bearing at the tip a whorl of 5 to 6 linear bracts up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) long. A single flower appears on each stem with 5 to 9 oval-shaped sepals. They range in color from whitish to deep pink or lavender. Flowering occurs from April through July. At maturity, it produces egg-shaped capsules with 6 to 20 nearly round seeds.

Photo via hiveminer.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Lewisia plants produce offsets, which are the easiest way to propagate this interesting little succulent. Simply divide them from the parent plant and pot them up to grow a good taproot and fleshy feeder roots.

You can also learn how to grow Lewisia from seed. The tiny plants take a couple of seasons to form a rosette but establish easily when sown in a sandy potting mixture.

Once the plants are placed in a garden situation, provide them with moderate water, excellent drainage and a minimum of nutrients. It couldn’t be simpler to grow Lewisias. The primary thing to remember is to avoid excessively fertile soil and compacted or clay situations… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Lewisia

Origin

Native to western North America from low to moderate elevations on grassland, open bushland, and forest.

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